Mapping psychoterratic distress amongst suburban Australians
Elaine Kelly and Paul Rhodes
Citation: Rhodes, P., & Kelly, E. (2023). Mapping psychoterratic distress amongst suburban Australians. Journal of Ecopsychology, 3, 3, 1-10. https://joe.nationalwellbeingservice.com/volumes/volume-3-2023/volume-3-article-3/
Processing dates: Submitted 24th June 2022; Resubmitted 30th November 2022; Accepted 7th December 2022; Published: 20th April 2023
Background/Aims: Eco-anxiety, eco-trauma or climate distress has become an established
social phenomenon in the face of the climate emergency. In Australia a majority of the
population live suburban settings but little research has been conducted the role of place
attachment on their experience of such distress. The aim of this research is to ascertain the role of place attachment and identity in climate emotion for suburban peoples.
Methods: We interviewed 10 people, using photo elicitation and a novel digital mapping
method, conducting thematic and interpretative analysis.
Results: We found that suburban dwellers do experience place attachment and identity,
which in turn is threatened, altered, and even renewed/affirmed when climate impacts such as extreme weather, fire, and rising temperatures are experienced.
Discussion: These findings serve as evidence for the utility of psychoterratic theoretical
frameworks for this population, with place-based attachments disrupted via both direct and
indirect effects of climate events.
Keywords: Place attachment, solastalgia, affect, anxiety, psychoterratic
Paul Rhodes is with the Clinical Psychology Unit, School of Psychology, and the Sydney Environment Institute, at the University of Sydney, Australia
Elaine Kelly is with the Clinical Psychology Unit, School of Psychology, the University of Sydney, Australia