Previous studies concerning the association between macrosocial worries and well-being
have shown diverse results. In this study a person-oriented approach was employed. Two
subgroups of adolescents experiencing a high degree of worry about environmental risks
but displaying varying levels of subjective well-being were identified. One scored low on
well-being while the other scored high. Thereafter, the assumption that the two subgroups
would differ on theoretically relevant comparison measures was investigated. The group
high on both worry and well-being scored significantly higher on meaningfulness, trust in
environmental organizations, and on anger and hope in relation to environmental risks
than the group high on worry but low on well-being. Finally, environmental worry was
mainly predicted by biospheric and altruistic values, but also by high levels of trust in
science and environmental organizations. These results are discussed in relation to
existential, emotion, and identity theories.
2005. Vol. 8, no 3, 331-348 p.