According to scientists, climate change is one of the most urgent matter nowadays. It has been proved that it has an impact on mental health. This research analyzes the relationship between eco-anxiety and pro-environmental behaviour in Guatemala and Italy. The results suggest that eco-anxiety could actually improve PEBs. SUBJECT AREA: Environmental Psychology KEYWORD: Eco-anxiety SUPPORTING SUMMARY THEORETICAL BACKGROUND: Eco-anxiety is defined as a chronic fear of environmental worry. Some studies proved that anxiety, personal experience with natural disasters and connection to nature improve eco-anxiety. The relationship with PEBs is unclear. Some authors suggest a positive correlation between these two. Meanwhile others define eco-anxiety like a inhibitor for the actuation of ecological behaviour. There are no studies for what concern eco-anxiety and pro-environmental behaviour in Guatemala, such as there are few studies for what concern countries that are not represent a occidental demographic range. The study aims to verify the presence of eco-anxiety correlated to PEBs in Guatemala, which is directly hit by the impact of climate change and compare it with an occidental country like Italy. METHODS: A total of 563 participants responded to a survey online, of which 310 from Italy and 253 from Guatemala. The majority were graduated had a range age between 20-29 years. The online survey was shared through personal contact of the authors in Italy and in Guatemala. The survey comprises different questionnaires assessing anxiety, experience with natural disaster, connection to nature, eco-anxiety, and pro-environmental behaviours, in addiction to socio-demographic information. The Italian version of the questionnaire were translated in Spanish by a native speaker . RESULTS: From the results obtained, eco-anxiety has a positive correlation with pro-environmental behaviours, with a higher level in all the pro-environmental dimension for Guatemala. It was found that eco-anxiety has a positive correlation also with the dimension of the connection to nature and with the experience with natural disasters. Regardingthe dimension of anxiety inGuatemala, unlike Italy, a negative correlation with eco-anxiety emerged. Regarding PEBs, it found that energy savings and the use of ecological transport are higher in Italy, while ecological food consumption and environmental citizenship are higher in Guatemala. IMPLICATIONS: This study suggests that individual who lives in a place more affected by natural disasters experiment more eco-anxiety. However, eco-anxiety seems to have a positive and adaptive response to the impact of climate change in our lives. From the results, eco-anxiety could be a valid motivator for the actuation of pro-environmental behaviour. Difference between countries could be due to cultural differences, different experience with natural disaster, or to exposition to environment with different level of biodiversity.
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