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Issues relating to behaviour, wellbeing and the environment

Laffan, Kate (2017) Issues relating to behaviour, wellbeing and the environment. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.2lzozibela7s


As issues of environmental degradation intensify, the interdependency between humans and the natural environment is coming more and more into focus. In particular, questions about the importance of environmental quality for human wellbeing and about how to mitigate the serious negative impacts humans are having on the environment are of ever-increasing significance. The current work addresses these issues in four empirical papers, split into two separate parts. The first section focuses on the first question, exploring the links between air quality and individual wellbeing. Paper 1 presents a spatially detailed analysis of the relationship between air pollution and a range of measures of subjective wellbeing (SWB), providing a rich picture of how the air pollution individuals are exposed to relates to how they feel. Paper 2 uses mediation analysis to investigate the behavioural production process which converts air pollution into ill-being, providing insights into the role of physical activity and visits to the outdoors play as mediators. The second part of this thesis addresses the second question. Paper 3 investigates the relationship between proenvironmental behaviour (PEB) and a range of SWB measures, shedding light on the wellbeing consequences of PEB for the individual undertaking it and providing insights into strategies to encourage it. Paper 4 tests two interventions which target electricity consumption in a hall of residence in London, providing evidence of an effective approach to reduce individuals’ environmental impact. Taken together, the results of the papers present evidence of psychological and environmental win-wins which can arise from living in and helping to create a better natural environment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Kate Laffan
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Dolan, Paul

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