Polarization of Climate Change Beliefs: The Role of the Millennial Generation Identity Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2019 by the Southwestern Social Science Association Objective: This article explores how the Millennial Generation identity—the shared values and experiences of young adults (born between 1980 and 1997)—affects political polarization of climate change belief, specifically how it mediates the relationship between party affiliation and educational attainment. Method: To test this, an interaction between Millennial*Republican*education is estimated, using data from an original national survey administered in 2015. Results: Millennials are more likely to believe in the evidence of climate change and its anthropogenic causes than older adults of their same party affiliation. Unlike older adults, the most educated Millennials are not the most likely to adhere to political party stance; rather, it is among the least educated Millennials that party sorting is most evident. Conclusion: The Millennial Generation identity is meaningful for understanding political attitudes. Important distinctions exist between Millennials and older adults in the evaluation of climate change opinion and related policies.

altmetric score

  • 5.9

author list (cited authors)

  • Ross, A. D., Rouse, S. M., & Mobley, W.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • April 2019