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Maria Ojala

Örebro University

Based in


Maria’s research concerns how young people (late childhood to young adulthood) think, feel, act, learn, and communicate about climate change. She focuses on climate skepticism, hope based on denial, and climate delay strategies, but foremost on constructive ways of relating to this problem like climate activism, prefigurative politics/practice, meaning-focused coping, constructive hope, and dialectical thinking. Maria has introduced, published about, and are currently developing, the concept of “critical emotional awareness” as an important competence to promote in climate change education/communication in order for young people to avoid fact resistance, see through attempts to steer through emotions, and face difficult climate emotions.


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Ojala M, Anniko M. 2020. “Climate change as an existential challenge: Exploring how emerging adults cope with ambivalence concerning climate-friendly food,” Psyke & Logos. 2020;41(2):17-33.

Ojala, M., Cunsolo, A., & Ogunbode, C., & Middleton, J. (2021). “Anxiety, worry, and grief in a time of environmental and climate crisis. A narrative review.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 46.

Ojala, M. (2021). “Safe spaces or a pedagogy of discomfort? Senior high-school teachers’ meta-emotion philosophies and climate change education.” Journal of Environmental Education, 52(1), 40-52.

Ojala, M., & Anniko, M. (2020). “Climate change as an existential challenge: Exploring how emerging adults cope with ambivalence about climate-friendly food choices.” Psyke og Logos, 2, 17-33.

Maria Ojala. 2020. “To trust or not to trust? Young people’s trust in climate change science and their climate change engagement,” Children’s Geographies (September 2020).

Maria Ojala. 2020. “When young people worry about climate change,” Tomorrow’s Earth Stewards (August 2020).

Maria Ojala & Hans Bengtsson. 2019. “Young People’s Coping Strategies Concerning Climate Change: Relations to Perceived Communication with Parents and Friends and Pro-Environmental Behavior,” Environment and Behavior (October 2019).

Maria Ojala. 2019. “Eco-anxiety,” Royal Society of Arts Journal (February 2019).

Maria Ojala & Yuliya Lakew. 2017. “Young people and climate change communication” Oxford Encyclopedia of climate change communication,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia (April 2017).

Maria Ojala. 2016. “Facing anxiety in climate change education: From therapeutic practice to hopeful transgressive learning,” Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (2016).

Maria Ojala. 2015. “Climate change skepticism among adolescents,” Journal of Youth Studies (March 2015).

Maria Ojala. 2013. “Coping with climate change among adolescents: Implications for subjective well-being and environmental engagement,” Sustainability (May 2013).

Maria Ojala. 2012. “Hope and climate change: The importance of hope for pro-environmental engagement among young people,” Environmental Education Research (2012).

Maria Ojala. 2012. “Regulating worry, promoting hope: How do children, adolescents, and young adults cope with climate change?International Journal of Environmental and Science Education (October 2012).

Maria Ojala. 2012. “How do children cope with global climate change? Coping strategies, engagement, and well-being,” Journal of Environmental Psychology (September 2012).