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Article

Meaning in Life Mediates the Association between Environmental Engagement and Loneliness

1
Department of Psychology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ 07079, USA
2
Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, Canada
3
Department of Psychology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, BC V3S 6R1, Canada
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Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2897; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062897
Received: 14 January 2021 / Revised: 1 March 2021 / Accepted: 9 March 2021 / Published: 12 March 2021
Although the positive outcomes of human–environment interactions have been established, research examining the motivation between engagement in pro-environmental activities and psychological well-being is limited. In this mixed-methods study, the relationship between pro-environmental engagement, meaning in life, and well-being, including loneliness and depression, were investigated in a sample of 112 young adults in Canada. It was found that engaging in pro-environmental activities was negatively associated with loneliness. This association was mediated by meaning in life (e.g., an intrinsic motive of caring for future generations). In addition, qualitative analyses explored how engaging in pro-environmental activities has a meaningful impact on meaning in life, and on well-being. A thematic analysis generated three unique themes: (1) responsibility to teach the next generation about the environment, (2) deep appreciation for and connection to nature, and (3) renewed agency through self-directed learning. Overall, findings suggest that meaning in life is a core motive that underlies the association between environmental engagement and loneliness. The present study enriched the relationship between pro-environmentalism and well-being with a mixed-methods perspective. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental action; well-being; loneliness; meaning in life; care for the future environmental action; well-being; loneliness; meaning in life; care for the future
MDPI and ACS Style

Jia, F.; Soucie, K.; Matsuba, K.; Pratt, M.W. Meaning in Life Mediates the Association between Environmental Engagement and Loneliness. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062897

AMA Style

Jia F, Soucie K, Matsuba K, Pratt MW. Meaning in Life Mediates the Association between Environmental Engagement and Loneliness. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):2897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062897

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jia, Fanli, Kendall Soucie, Kyle Matsuba, and Michael W. Pratt. 2021. "Meaning in Life Mediates the Association between Environmental Engagement and Loneliness" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 6: 2897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062897

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