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Article

Media Exposure to Climate Change, Anxiety, and Efficacy Beliefs in a Sample of Italian University Students

Department of Psychology, Università di Torino, Via Verdi 10, 10124 Torino, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alan E. Stewart
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9358; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179358
Received: 7 July 2021 / Revised: 27 August 2021 / Accepted: 31 August 2021 / Published: 4 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate anxiety; media exposure; self-efficacy climate anxiety; media exposure; self-efficacy
MDPI and ACS Style

Maran, D.A.; Begotti, T. Media Exposure to Climate Change, Anxiety, and Efficacy Beliefs in a Sample of Italian University Students. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9358. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179358

AMA Style

Maran DA, Begotti T. Media Exposure to Climate Change, Anxiety, and Efficacy Beliefs in a Sample of Italian University Students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(17):9358. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179358

Chicago/Turabian Style

Maran, Daniela A., and Tatiana Begotti. 2021. "Media Exposure to Climate Change, Anxiety, and Efficacy Beliefs in a Sample of Italian University Students" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 17: 9358. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179358

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