Psychological distance of climate change and mental health risks assessment of smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana: Is habituation a threat to climate change?
Although strong evidence shows climate change has physical impacts on human health, the mental health impacts appear unclear. The study aims to understand and explain the dynamic correlates between climate change and farmers’ emotional regulation practices, given psychological distance. Using 180 smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana, structural equation linear regression analysis showed that given psychological distance (geographical, social), different climate change indicators significantly influenced different emotional regulation practices among farmers. Although, studies show an association between climate change and climate change adaptation practices, the study revealed that, given psychological distance, emotional regulations of farmers predicted their preferences for different climate change adaptation techniques. It is concluded that the influence of climate change on farmers’ emotional regulation practices seems to predispose them to future mental (emotional) health problems. Emotional regulation also appears to be a significant factor that climate change and mental health interventionists need to pay attention to.