Hypothetical Analysis of the Effects of Climate Change on Mental Health of Undergraduates in Alex-Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State of Nigeria

  •  Nkiru Edith Obande-Ogbuinya    
  •  Lois Nnenna Omaka-Amari    
  •  Scholastica A. Orj    
  •  Stella Uzoamaka Ugwu    
  •  Regina Adaoma Onunze    
  •  Helen Nwokike Ugwunna    
  •  Jacinta E. Ugbelu    
  •  Nwajioha Patrck Nwite    
  •  Tyogbah Jacob Terungwa    
  •  Christian O. Aleke    


INTRODUCTION: Mental health (MH) effect caused by climate change, particularly on adolescents and adults is a call for concern. This study aimed at exploring the effects of climate change on the mental health of Undergraduates of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State.

METHODS: An institutional based cross-sectional study was adopted. The population consisted of 10,000 students. The sample for the study consisted 216 undergraduates. The instrument for the study was a self-structured questionnaire titled: Effect of Climate Change on Mental Health (ECCMHQ). Data was analyzed using bivariate correlational analysis to determine the association of climate change with the effects of MH, while structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses.

RESULTS: The findings showed that climate change was positively correlated with stress disorder (r = 0.25, p <.01), anxiety (r = 0.32, p <.01), depression (r = 0.26, p <.01), trauma (r = 0.28, p <.01), substance abuse (r = 0.30, p <.01), suicidal ideation (r = 0.25, p <.01), fatigue (r = 0.27, p <.01) and suicidal guilt (r = 0.17, p <.05). There was no evidence of a correlation between climate change and post trauma (r = 0.12, p =.45) and a negative correlation with trauma (r = -0.16, p <.05).

CONCLUSION: The study concluded that climate change can lead to tremendous mental health effects such as anxiety, PTSD, apocalypse, fear with their consequential chronic psychological dysfunctions. Nevertheless, challenges can be averted if an environmental health education intervention is urgently mounted by the university management.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.