Learning from COVID-19: Infectious disease vulnerability promotes pro-environmental behaviors

Da JIANG, Mingxuan LI, Hanyang WU, Shuang LIU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Environmental problems, such as climate change, pollution, and environmental degrada-tion, are important contributors to the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 and SARS. For instance, a greater concentration of ambient NO2 was associated with faster transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. However, it remains unclear whether outbreaks of infectious diseases arouse individuals’ concern on the need to protect the environment and therefore promote more pro-environmental behaviors. To this end, we examined the relationship between infectious disease vulnerability and pro-environmental behaviors using data from a cross-societal survey (N = 53 societies) and an experiment (N = 214 individuals). At both the societal and the individual levels, infectious disease vulnerability increased pro-environmental behaviors. At the societal level, this relationship was mediated by citizens’ level of environmental concern. At the individual level, the relationship was mediated by empathy. The findings show that infectious disease vulnerability is conducive to pro-environmental behaviors. Copyright © 2021 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8687
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Citation

Jiang, D., Li, M., Wu, H., & Liu, S. (2021). Learning from COVID-19: Infectious disease vulnerability promotes pro-environmental behaviors. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(16). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168687

Keywords

  • Pro-environmental behavior
  • Infectious disease vulnerability
  • Empathy

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Learning from COVID-19: Infectious disease vulnerability promotes pro-environmental behaviors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.