An exploration into the environmental identities and sense of place of internationally mobile adolescents
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Subjectenvironmental identity; international mobility; nature relatedness scale; place attachment scale; third culture kids; sense of place
This study considers how international relocations impact the environmental identities of mobile adolescents, popularly known as "Third Culture Kids", focusing on those residing in Hong Kong. In a mixed methods approach, the Nisbet, Zelenski, and Murphy (2008) Nature Relatedness Scale and aspects of the Raymond, Brown, and Weber (2010) Place Attachment Scale were used to survey students attending international schools. Follow-up interviews provided insight into the adolescents' experiences, feelings, and processes of identity formation and sense of place upon relocation. Findings indicate that international mobility does not negatively impact an adolescent's relationship with nature and may enhance adolescent understanding of the interconnection of global systems. Adolescents were found to incorporate several locations into their sense of place and environmental identities through an ongoing process of negotiation. This calls for the expansion of the concept of "sense of place" to be inclusive of multiple locations that form an individual's environmental identity.
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