Project details


A new psychometric instrument to assess eco-anxiety: design and validation

eco-anxiety measurement tool

Valentina Gallo
Pelin Gul

Type of project:
TTT project (year 1), Pilot project (year 2 or 3) of Stage Wetenschap / Researchproject

Nature of the research:
Psychometric and epidemiological research to create a new tool to assess eco-anxiety and validate its Dutch/English version in a sample of the local population. Possibility to collaborate with colleagues from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) to create the tool and validate its Spanish version.

Fields of study:
epidemiology psychiatry Sociale Psychiatrie

Background / introduction
Climate change is already imposing a considerable level of individual and social stress on societies. The psychological and social stress derived by the fear of the consequences of climate change has recently been referred to as ‘eco-anxiety’(1).

However, there is poor agreement among scientists on how to define and how to measure eco-anxiety (2-4), as recently reviewed (5).

Moreover is not clear how sentiments of fear and paralysis or anger and action distribute in populations, and how these are differently elicited by climate change messages.
Research question / problem definition
The student will work with a team composed by an epidemiologist (V Gallo), a social psychologist (P Gul), and possibly some external collaboration with UNAM (M Rojas) to conduct qualitative and quantitative research on constructing and validating a tool able to measure which are the sentiments elicited by different climate messages, and fundamental difference at population level
- scoping review of the literature
- focus groups to understand sentiments associated with eco-anxiety
- construction of a questionnaire to measure eco-anxiety
- validation of the questionnaire in one or more populations

There is a potential for running this project in tandem with colleagues at UNAM, and validate the tool in tandem too
1. The climate crisis and the rise of eco-anxiety. The BMJ (2021)
2. Panu P. Anxiety and the Ecological Crisis: An Analysis of Eco-Anxiety and Climate Anxiety. Sustainability. 2020 Jan;12(19):7836.
3. Helm SV, Pollitt A, Barnett MA, Curran MA, Craig ZR. Differentiating environmental concern in the context of psychological adaption to climate change. Global Environmental Change. 2018 Jan 1;48:158–67.
4. Stanley SK, Hogg TL, Leviston Z, Walker I. From anger to action: Differential impacts of eco-anxiety, eco-depression, and eco-anger on climate action and wellbeing. The Journal of Climate Change and Health. 2021 Mar 1;1:100003.
5. Coffey Y, Bhullar N, Durkin J, Islam MS, Usher K. Understanding Eco-anxiety: A Systematic Scoping Review of Current Literature and Identified Knowledge Gaps. The Journal of Climate Change and Health. 2021 Aug 1;3:100047.
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