The Climate-Change Dilemma: Examining the Association Between Parental Status and Political Party Support


  • Taciano L. Milfont, Niki Harré, and Chris G. Sibley contributed equally to this manuscript. The research was funded by Performance Based Research Funds awarded to Chris Sibley and John Duckitt by the University of Auckland. Part of the results were presented at a research luncheon held at the Victoria University of Wellington in June 2008.

Taciano L. Milfont, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand 6001. E-mail:


Determining when, and for whom, positive attitudes toward climate-change actions translate into actual behavior is critically important in promoting pro-environmental behavior. An important way climate change can be tackled is through changes to social policy at the governmental level, which, in turn, depends on individual voting behavior in democratic nations. The present study examined this issue with regard to political party support in New Zealand, and demonstrated—using a large general population sample of voters—that support for climate-change actions predict differential support for center-left and center-right political parties only for people who have children. Parental status moderated the link between support for climate-change actions and voting intentions. Practical and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.