: While it has been shown that climate change anxiety (emotional distress response to climate change) can enhance pro-environmental behaviours (PEBs) in some subjects, in others it can induce eco-paralysis, thus leading individuals to avoid any form of engagement in actions against climate change. This study aims to clarify which factors influence the relationship between climate change anxiety and the disposition to PEBs, focusing on the role of self-efficacy as a mediating factor. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 394 healthy subjects living in Italy who completed the Pro-Environmental Behaviours Scale (PEBS), the General Self-Efficacy scale (GSE), and the Climate Change Anxiety Scale (CCAS). As a result, the mediation model showed a positive direct effect of the cognitive impairment subscale of CCAS on PEBS and an indirect negative effect of the cognitive impairment subscale of CCAS on PEBS mediated by GSE. These findings show that climate change anxiety has simultaneously two different effects on individuals: it directly encourages PEBs, and indirectly may have detrimental effects on PEBs such as eco-paralysis. Consequently, therapeutic approaches to treat climate change anxiety should not be aimed at rationalising irrational thoughts but rather at helping patients develop coping strategies such as PEBs which, in turn, foster self-efficacy.

Innocenti, M., Santarelli, G., Lombardi, G. S., Ciabini, L., Zjalic, D., Di Russo, M., Cadeddu, C., How Can Climate Change Anxiety Induce Both Pro-Environmental Behaviours and Eco-Paralysis? The Mediating Role of General Self-Efficacy, <<INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH>>, 2023; 20 (4): 1-10. [doi:10.3390/ijerph20043085] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/231851]

How Can Climate Change Anxiety Induce Both Pro-Environmental Behaviours and Eco-Paralysis? The Mediating Role of General Self-Efficacy

Lombardi, Gaia Surya;Zjalic, Doris;Di Russo, Mattia;Cadeddu, Chiara
2023

Abstract

: While it has been shown that climate change anxiety (emotional distress response to climate change) can enhance pro-environmental behaviours (PEBs) in some subjects, in others it can induce eco-paralysis, thus leading individuals to avoid any form of engagement in actions against climate change. This study aims to clarify which factors influence the relationship between climate change anxiety and the disposition to PEBs, focusing on the role of self-efficacy as a mediating factor. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 394 healthy subjects living in Italy who completed the Pro-Environmental Behaviours Scale (PEBS), the General Self-Efficacy scale (GSE), and the Climate Change Anxiety Scale (CCAS). As a result, the mediation model showed a positive direct effect of the cognitive impairment subscale of CCAS on PEBS and an indirect negative effect of the cognitive impairment subscale of CCAS on PEBS mediated by GSE. These findings show that climate change anxiety has simultaneously two different effects on individuals: it directly encourages PEBs, and indirectly may have detrimental effects on PEBs such as eco-paralysis. Consequently, therapeutic approaches to treat climate change anxiety should not be aimed at rationalising irrational thoughts but rather at helping patients develop coping strategies such as PEBs which, in turn, foster self-efficacy.
2023
Inglese
Innocenti, M., Santarelli, G., Lombardi, G. S., Ciabini, L., Zjalic, D., Di Russo, M., Cadeddu, C., How Can Climate Change Anxiety Induce Both Pro-Environmental Behaviours and Eco-Paralysis? The Mediating Role of General Self-Efficacy, <<INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH>>, 2023; 20 (4): 1-10. [doi:10.3390/ijerph20043085] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/231851]
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