Understanding Ecopsychology of the Youth

This analysis presents the findings of a survey conducted to understand the ecopsychology of the youth and teenagers. The purpose of the survey was to gain insight into their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors regarding the natural environment and their psychological connection to it. The survey aimed to understand the level of ecological awareness, the impact of nature on well-being, and the engagement of teens and youths in pro-environmental activities.

The survey employed a mixed-methods approach, utilizing both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques. A structured questionnaire was administered to a diverse sample of teenagers and young adults aged 18-25 years. The survey was conducted online and collected responses over a period of three days. The questionnaire included multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions to gather a comprehensive understanding of participants’ ecopsychological perspectives.

The survey received a total of 50 responses from teenagers and youths across different regions and socio-cultural backgrounds. The sample consisted of 52 percent females and 48 percent males, ensuring a balanced gender representation. The participants came from diverse educational backgrounds, including high school, college, and university students. 

Ecopsychology and Environmental Awareness

  1. Fifty percent of the participants reported spending time in nature once a week, while the other 50 percent reported spending time in nature a few times a week.
  2. One hundred percent of the participants expressed that it was very important to them to stay connected to the natural world.
  3. One hundred percent of the participants expressed that they were moderately connected to the natural world.
  4. A common theme that emerged from the answers to participants’ bond with nature was that nature helps them feel at peace.

Ecopsychology and Emotional Well-being

  1. One hundred percent of the participants agreed that spending time in nature positively affected their mental and emotional health.
  2. Seventy-eight percent of the participants reported feeling calm and relaxed, sixty-two percent reported feeling happy and joyful, and fifty-four percent reported feeling energized and revitalized after spending time in nature. 
  3. Eighty-four percent of the participants experienced eco-anxiety.
  4. Sixty-two percent of the participants agreed that environmental degradation impacted their mental health and that they felt anxiety and worry about the future.
  5. Fifty percent of the respondents agreed that their activity patterns felt negatively affected by climate change.
  6. Fifty percent of the respondents agreed that they developed mental health issues due to an environmental cause.
  7. Fifty percent of the respondents agreed that higher levels of urbanization negatively affected their emotional and mental health.

Coping mechanisms and actions 

  1. Forty-five percent reported advocating for environmental causes by talking to friends and family and engaging in nature conservation practices.
  2. A common theme in the answer to actions promoting a healthier relationship between humans and the environment was planting trees around them.
  3. One hundred percent of the participants agreed to have engaged in activities related to environmental sustainability and conservation.
  4. One hundred percent of the participants agreed to want to spend more time in nature, given the choice.

The survey results indicate a strong ecological awareness among teenagers and youths, with a majority expressing concern about environmental issues and the importance of conservation. The findings also highlight the significant role of nature in positively impacting their mental well-being, emphasizing the need for access to green spaces and outdoor activities.

Moreover, a considerable proportion of the surveyed individuals actively engage in pro-environmental behaviors, such as volunteering, advocating, and practicing sustainable habits. However, there is still room for improvement, particularly in terms of enhancing environmental education and expanding opportunities for youth participation in environmental initiatives.

These findings underscore the potential of ecopsychology as a tool for fostering a deeper connection between young individuals and the natural world, leading to increased environmental consciousness and action. Based on the survey results, it is recommended that educational institutions, community organizations, and policymakers collaborate to develop programs that promote environmental education, encourage outdoor experiences, and provide platforms for youth.

Abhipsa Suman
Author: Abhipsa Suman