Hotter Weather Linked to Increased Stress and Other Psychological Problems

By Perry, Susan | MinnPost.com, March 31, 2020 | Go to article overview

Hotter Weather Linked to Increased Stress and Other Psychological Problems


Perry, Susan, MinnPost.com


With all the stress and anxiety we’re experiencing during this coronavirus pandemic, perhaps we should be grateful that it’s also not hot outside. For according to a new study published last week in the journal PLOS One, Americans are more likely to report stress, depression and other psychological problems when temperatures climb above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The study also found that Americans are less likely to report such problems when temperatures fall below 20 F.

“In general, the probability of reporting mental health difficulties decreases with cooler days and increases with hotter days,” the authors of the study conclude.

Interestingly, the longer the hot days continue, the more likely they’ll have a negative effect on mental health. That wasn’t true of the cold days.

“Hotter temperatures really tend to get to people after about 10 consecutive days, while cooler days have an immediate effect,” explain two of the study’s authors, Susana Ferreira and Travis Smith, in an article they wrote about the research for the Conversation. Both are professors of economics at the University of Georgia.

Global warming has given a new impetus to research on the impact of ambient temperatures on mental health. In recent years, a growing body of scientific literature has reported that rising temperatures are associated have a negative effect on mental health, including an association with higher rates of suicide.

As background information in the current study points out, since 1880, the average global temperature has risen by about 1.4 degrees F, with most of that increase having taken place during the past 40 years. Nineteen of the 20 warmest years have all occurred since 2001.

“The promotion of mental health has — for the first time — been included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda as a goal to be reached by 2030,” write Ferreira and Smith. “In a rapidly warming world, temperature increases pose a challenge to achieving that goal of ‘good health and well-being.’”

“Our study attempted to gauge the magnitude of that challenge by quantifying the effect of temperature on self-reported mental health,” they add.

How the study was done

For their study, the researchers used data on 3 million Americans who participated between 1993 and 2010 in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing state-based system of health surveys conducted annually under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One of the survey questions ask participants to provide the number of days during the previous month when, because of stress, depression or other negative emotions, they felt their mental health was not good. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Hotter Weather Linked to Increased Stress and Other Psychological Problems
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.