Climate anxiety, wellbeing and pro-environmental action: correlates of negative emotional responses to climate change in 32 countries

Charles A. Ogunbode, Rouven Doran, Daniel Hanss, Maria Ojala, Katariina Salmela-Aro, Karlijn L. van den Broek, Navjot Bhullar, Sibele D. Aquino, Tiago Marot, Julie Aitken Schermer, Anna Wlodarczyk, Su Lu, Feng Jiang, Daniela Acquadro Maran, Radha Yadav, Rahkman Ardi, Razieh Chegeni, Elahe Ghanbarian, Somayeh Zand, Reza NajafiJoonha Park, Takashi Tsubakita, Chee Seng Tan, John Bosco Chika Chukwuorji, Kehinde Aderemi Ojewumi, Hajra Tahir, Mai Albzour, Marc Eric S. Reyes, Samuel Lins, Violeta Enea, Tatiana Volkodav, Tomas Sollar, Ginés Navarro-Carrillo, Jorge Torres-Marín, Winfred Mbungu, Arin H. Ayanian, Jihane Ghorayeb, Charles Onyutha, Michael J. Lomas, Mai Helmy, Laura Martínez-Buelvas, Aydin Bayad, Mehmet Karasu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored the correlates of climate anxiety in a diverse range of national contexts. We analysed cross-sectional data gathered in 32 countries (N = 12,246). Our results show that climate anxiety is positively related to rate of exposure to information about climate change impacts, the amount of attention people pay to climate change information, and perceived descriptive norms about emotional responding to climate change. Climate anxiety was also positively linked to pro-environmental behaviours and negatively linked to mental wellbeing. Notably, climate anxiety had a significant inverse association with mental wellbeing in 31 out of 32 countries. In contrast, it had a significant association with pro-environmental behaviour in 24 countries, and with environmental activism in 12 countries. Our findings highlight contextual boundaries to engagement in environmental action as an antidote to climate anxiety, and the broad international significance of considering negative climate-related emotions as a plausible threat to wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101887
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume84
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Climate activism
  • Climate change
  • Climate change anxiety
  • Emotions
  • Pro-environmental behaviour
  • Wellbeing

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