A new study has found that the top concern of today’s youth is caring for their family. Approximately 600 16-24 year olds were asked to choose from a list of 8 concerns, and rate which one they felt was the most important moral issue.
- Results show that looking after family is most important in 59% of cases. Putting others first came second with 12%, followed by being faithful to your partner (8%), caring for the environment (5%), religious faith (4%), paying taxes (4%), playing a part in the community (4%), and buying ethical products (1%).
- This article raises two important points. First, caring for the environment is still seemingly low on people’s agendas (although the study may not be representative of the time people spend thinking/ acting on their concerns). Second, marketing environmental issues as family issues may help to raise their profile. Professor Slovic has previously shown that people perceive risks to be higher when they affect future generations. Tailoring environmental campaigns to explain the impact on “tomorrow’s child” may personalise environmental risk and encourage positive behaviour change.
This could mean developing “personal future scenarios” which describe a range of plausible futures, written from the perspective of a future child/teenager. Personal futures techniques currently exist, but are not frequently employed to highlight what the world will “look like” for our children’s children if we do or don’t change behaviour now. Personalising futures could have a positive impact on behaviour change in addressing waste, climate change, and energy use – all by making the environment a “future family matter”.