Empowering students as leaders of change on sustainability: an innovative community health approach


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Empowering students as leaders of change on sustainability: an innovative community health approach
Title of the conference
International Society of Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP)
Schweizer Angélick, Miserez Sébastien, Del Rio Carral Maria, Santiago-Delefosse Marie
10th Biennial Conference, Loughborough University, England
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Issued date
Promoting sustainability is a major concern across Western societies. The United
Nations have emphasized the important role of education in increasing knowledge and
skills to support sustainable development. Numerous initiatives are being created as to
be introduced in universities’ programmes. However, health has scarcely been
mobilized as a lever for action and change toward more sustainable practices.
Our study aimed to address this issue through awareness-raising among higher
education students on the links between health and sustainability. Our research team
used a community health psychology approach to prepare psychology students to
conduct semi-structured interviews with students from other faculties on these topics.
Throughout this process, research team members facilitated participation, discussion,
and critical thinking of sustainable issues. 203 interviews were led within a period of
two years (2014-2016). Qualitative material was explored by using a lexicometric
analysis, followed by a thematic analysis. Results showed that student interviewees (SI)
perceived sustainability as an unclear concept, rarely associated to the concept of
health. Moreover, analyses indicated mismatches between ideal practices and concrete
behaviours, leading to a sense of guilt/defeatism. Interestingly, when led to describe
their own daily practices, we observed that SI were more engaged that they had initially
thought. This result reveals that sustainable practices are likely to be adopted when
there is a perceived impact on personal health. Our study demonstrates the possibility
to raise critical awareness on sustainable issues among higher education students. It
highlights perspectives to promote change towards more sustainable ways of living.
Create date
18/10/2017 14:31
Last modification date
21/08/2019 6:14
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