The climate crisis poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of individuals. For many, climate change knowledge is derived from indirect exposure to information transmitted through the media. Such content can elicit a variety of emotional responses, including anger, sadness, despair, fear, and guilt. Worry and anxiety are especially common responses, usually referred to as “climate anxiety”. The main objectives of this study were to analyze how exposure to climate change through the media relates to climate anxiety and individual and collective self-efficacy, and to evaluate the relationship between climate anxiety and efficacy beliefs. A total of 312 Italian university students (aged 18–26 years) participated in the research by filling out an anonymous questionnaire. Participants reported being exposed several times per week to information about climate change, especially from social media, newspapers, and television programs. Moreover, the results showed that the attention paid to information about climate change was not only positively related to climate anxiety, but also to individual and collective self-efficacy. Most notably, participants’ efficacy beliefs were found to be positively related to climate anxiety. This somewhat controversial finding stresses that, in the context of pro-environmental behavior changes, a moderate level of anxiety could engender feelings of virtue, encouraging people to rethink actions with negative ecological impacts.

Media exposure to climate change, anxiety, and efficacy beliefs in a sample of Italian University students

Acquadro Maran D.
First
;
Begotti T.
Last
2021-01-01

Abstract

The climate crisis poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of individuals. For many, climate change knowledge is derived from indirect exposure to information transmitted through the media. Such content can elicit a variety of emotional responses, including anger, sadness, despair, fear, and guilt. Worry and anxiety are especially common responses, usually referred to as “climate anxiety”. The main objectives of this study were to analyze how exposure to climate change through the media relates to climate anxiety and individual and collective self-efficacy, and to evaluate the relationship between climate anxiety and efficacy beliefs. A total of 312 Italian university students (aged 18–26 years) participated in the research by filling out an anonymous questionnaire. Participants reported being exposed several times per week to information about climate change, especially from social media, newspapers, and television programs. Moreover, the results showed that the attention paid to information about climate change was not only positively related to climate anxiety, but also to individual and collective self-efficacy. Most notably, participants’ efficacy beliefs were found to be positively related to climate anxiety. This somewhat controversial finding stresses that, in the context of pro-environmental behavior changes, a moderate level of anxiety could engender feelings of virtue, encouraging people to rethink actions with negative ecological impacts.
18
17
9358
9370
Climate anxiety; Media exposure; Self-efficacy; Anxiety; Humans; Italy; Students; Climate Change; Universities
Acquadro Maran D.; Begotti T.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Media.exposure.anxiety.climate.ijerph.pdf

Accesso aperto

Tipo di file: PDF EDITORIALE
Dimensione 352.07 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
352.07 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1844083
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact