B4572 - Does climate anxiety impact subsequent mental health - 26/03/2024

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Dan Major-Smith | University of Bristol
Dr Isaac Halstead, Mrs Katie Major-Smith
Title of project: 
Does climate anxiety impact subsequent mental health?
Proposal summary: 

Climate change is increasingly affecting our planet, impacting people’s health, security and livelihood, as well as wider biodiversity. Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that many studies have identified ‘climate anxiety’ (or ‘eco-anxiety’) as an emotional response to these events. Numerous studies have found that anxiety regarding climate change is associated with worse mental health, such as higher rates of depressive and anxiety symptoms, although the majority of these studies are small, cross-sectional and from unrepresentative samples, limiting both generalisability and the extent to which causal conclusions can be drawn. There is therefore a need to explore these questions using data from a large-scale longitudinal population-based study; this is what we intend to do here, using data from ALSPAC.

Impact of research: 
By exploring climate anxiety in this longitudinal setting, we hope to inform the debate on climate anxiety and inform potential intervention efforts (e.g., if climate anxiety does not cause mental health, then it would be better to target the root mental health problems rather than climate anxiety to improve population mental health).
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 26 March, 2024
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 26 March, 2024
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health