Adolescent's views on the local and global environment

Q type N. Question Answer Timestamped Validation
Own 1 What does the term 'eco distress' mean? Eco distress is defined by the Royal College of Psychiatrists as ‘the wide range of thoughts and emotions people may experience when they hear bad news about our planet and the environment’ [1]
Int 2 What are the psychological impacts of climate change on mental health according to theorists? Theorists have conceptualised the psychological impact of climate change into direct and indirect impacts (Doherty & Clayton, 2011). There is increasing evidence that awareness of climate change events and/or anticipating future risk from climate change can impact mental health and wellbeing indirectly (Clayton, 2020; Connell et al., 1999; Hickman, 2020; Kelly, 2017; Lawrance et al., 2021; Lee et al., 2020; Ogunbode et al., 2021; Strife, 2012; Tucci et al., 2007). [2]
Quant 3 What kind of environmental issues besides climate change can potentially have mental health impacts? Other local environmental issues that may have direct mental health impacts include greenspace, air pollution and noise. [3]
Qual 4 How can nature connectedness be beneficial for adolescent mental health? Nature connectedness has been found to be protective for adolescent mental health, often leading to improved emotional stability and reduction in stress (Capaldi, Dopko, & Zelenski, 2014; Martin et al., 2020; McMahan & Estes, 2015; Piccininni, Michaelson, Janssen, & Pickett 2018). [4]
Qual 5 How do you think eco-anxiety can become an adaptive response to a crisis? Eco-anxiety can become an adaptive response when it is coupled with hopeful and informed action. This type of productive anxiety can be motivating for individuals affected by environmental crises as well as for society as a whole. [5]
Anal 6 How has eco-anxiety been viewed by researchers? Researchers have suggested that eco-anxiety should not always be pathologised as it could be considered a rational anxiety. [6]
Int 7 What kind of emotional response do adolescents show when discussing environmental issues? Adolescent participants reported high levels of engagement with environmental issues, coupled with fear, anxiety, anger and sadness. Additionally, they had grim expectations for the future of the world. [7]
Qual 8 What are adolescent's reasons for not taking more direct environmental action? Young people reported their own reasons for not taking more direct environmental action as primarily feeling unsure about what to do and not having the power to do everything they would want to. [8]
Spec 9 What have previous studies reported about young people's feelings regarding their ability to have a real impact on environmental issues? Previous studies have reported that most young people feel powerless themselves to have a real impact on environmental issues. [9]
Spec 10 What has been observed in prior studies regarding pro-environmental behaviour and wellbeing? Taking action for the environment has a dual benefit, as it can help improve both environmental outcomes and wellbeing by increasing hope and providing a sense of community. [10]
Qual 11 How does the environment affect young people's wellbeing? Young people’s wellbeing is influenced by their personal environment and spaces, including aspects such as air pollution, water pollution, biodiversity, light, uncleanliness and litter, overcrowding, greenspace, fresh air, personal space and safety. [11]
Own 12 How does greenspace affect young people's wellbeing? Research has found that Greenspace can have a positive influence on young people's stress levels and provide beneficial effects of nature-connectedness. [12]
Spec 13 What aspects of the environment were found to have positive effects on young people? Aspects of the local environment that are seen to have a positive influence are greenspace, nature, fresh air and accessibility to other people, places and activities. This suggests both urban and rural environments have some benefits for young people. [13]
Own 14 How is place-attachment related to pro-environmental behaviours? The bonds and attachments youth and other people feel to environments (place-attachments) are associated with stronger intentions to preserve them and higher levels of pro-environmental behaviours (Stedman, 2002; Vaske & Kobrin, 2001). [14]
Own 15 Do youth living in urban and rural areas express the same appreciation for nature? Multiple research has found that both urban and rural youth engaged in the same narrative of appreciating the healing aspects of nature and expressing concerns surrounding the complex and lurid nature of urban life.[15]
Holl 16 How can policy-makers and politicians support a generation of empowered young environmentalists? Policy-makers and politicians should make efforts to listen to the grievances of young people, aggregate their views, amplify their voices, and give them practical influence over key decisions such as town planning or energy/transport policies. [16]
Own 17 How can youth feel disempowered when thinking about their own pro-environmental behaviour? The young people in the research interviews were informed, passionate and opinionated, but felt fundamentally disempowered and had a mistrust of, and frustration towards, government and those with power. [17]
Own 18 How does the portrayal of environmental change in the news affect youth? Young people found climate-related information, especially the news, was lacking nuance, positivity and practical advice, leading to a sense of powerlessness and ‘end of the world’, in turn leading to stress, sadness and avoidance. In keeping with previous research, this suggests that news and information providers and educators have a responsibility to provide accurate information which shows the links between present events and future outcomes. [18]
Own 19 What strategies are recommended to offer climate-related information in a way that does not lead to stress, sadness and avoidance in youth? The cooperation of educators, activists, communicators and support services to provide emotion-sensitive environmental material whilst building youth resilience to difficult information, thereby generating a sense of understanding and ‘constructive hope’ which encourages environmental behaviour without provoking unconstructive or excessive anxiety and distress. [19]
Own 20 How do youth proactively gather information about environmental issues? Adolescent participants in this study tended to use social media as a key resource to gather information. [20]
Own 21 What could be effective ways to communicate with adolescents about environmental campaigns, interventions or projects? The importance of social media, friends and peers as a source of information and influence suggests that youth gatekeepers and ambassadors are valuable ways of working with this age group. [21]