A Story About Intentions: Investigating Children's Intentions Towards Decreased Meat Consumption

Stina Schmiedel & Caroline Westergren

Student thesis: Master thesis


The meat industry and meat consumption is an essential (often forgotten) contributor to emission and in turn climate change and its negative impacts. Denmark is a front runner when it comes to pro-environmental initiatives on a national level, however in order for climate change to slow down it can be argued that responsibility needs to come down to an individual level as well. Pro-environmental behaviours are complex and climate change is often perceived as psychologically distant to individuals. Consequently, both engagement and encouraging communication can be challenging in relation to pro-environmental behaviour. This study takes a communication perspective to gain insight in how to effectively communicate pro-environmental behaviours to increase children’s intention towards decreased meat consumption. More specifically, the study investigates the effect of framing climate change impact as either local or global within the communications form of storytelling. The research takes a quantitative approach using a sample of Danish children aged 10-12.
The result indicates a higher intention towards decreased meat consumption among the respondents that had read a story with a global framing. However, the result is relatively weak and additional findings underline the assumption that psychological distance is merely one out of many aspects influencing an individual’s behavioural intention. Hence, insight has been gained regarding the importance of incorporating aspects of personal relevance, increased self-efficacy and facilitated understanding of the specific pro-environmental behaviour in communicating towards the specific age group. The findings can be used to improve the communication and creation of educational materials with the aim to encourage pro-environmental behavior among children.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages124