気候の苦悩が若者の不安や行動に関係していることを示す研究結果(Study shows climate distress related to anxiety and action in young people)

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2023-08-24 インペリアル・カレッジ・ロンドン(ICL)

◆気候変動への苦悩は、若者に直接的な気候体験がなくても多くの難しい感情を引き起こし、一方で気候に関わる行動にも駆り立てることが研究で明らかになった。
◆イギリスの研究では、16〜24歳の若者539人を対象に気候変動に関連した苦悩、感情、メンタルヘルス、気候変動への対応能力を調査した。高度に苦悩する若者は、環境悪化や気候行動の不足に対する不安、罪悪感を感じる一方、気候に関わる行動から充実感を得ることもあった。
◆気候活動は希望や怒りなどの感情と関連し、罪悪感や恥は行動を減少させる要因とされた。研究者は、若者の気候苦悩を支援し、気候行動を継続させるためのツール開発が必要であると強調し、気候行動が個人の健康にも寄与することを指摘した。しかし、気候変動への対策は若者だけでなく、権力者の責任であるとも訴えた。

<関連情報>

英国の若年住民における気候の苦悩、希望、行動意図に関連する心理社会的要因 Psycho-social factors associated with climate distress, hope and behavioural intentions in young UK residents

Ans Vercammen ,Tassia Oswald,Emma Lawrance
PLOS Global Public Health  Published: August 23, 2023
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgph.0001938

Abstract

Although the UK has been relatively spared significant geophysical impacts of climate change, many people, youth in particular, are increasingly worried about climate change. The psychological distress associated with the (perceived) threat of climate change has been linked to poorer mental wellbeing but can also promote adaptive responses such as engagement in pro-environmental behaviour. In this mixed methods study, we delve deeper into the experience of ‘climate distress’ among UK residents aged 16–24 (N = 539). We conducted an online survey assessing general mental health, subjective wellbeing, and climate distress with existing scales. We also included novel questions assessing positive and negative life impacts of climate change, open-ended questions on aspirations and priorities for the future, and engagement in pro-environmental and climate actions. Our findings indicate that mental health factors may contribute to vulnerability to climate distress. Predictably, socio-psychological responses to climate change (i.e., frustration over inaction, lack of control, and shame or guilt about one’s own contributions) were linked to higher scores on the climate distress scale. Negatively appraised climate change-related events (i.e., seeing an environment they care about change for the worse) were associated with higher climate distress. Individuals with high climate distress (10.1% of our sample) reported worrying about the impact of climate change on their own future more frequently than any other topic surveyed (including personal finance, career, relationships, politics). Both positive (hope/interest) and negative (anger/frustration) emotions inspired action-taking, especially climate activism, which was negatively predicted by guilt/shame and sadness/fear. Private-sphere pro-environmental actions appeared less driven by strong emotions. Overall, our findings present a more nuanced picture of climate distress in terms of emotional responses, behaviour, and mental health. Longitudinal research is urgently needed to understand how distress may change over time, and the conditions that lead to adaptive and maladaptive outcomes.

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