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Peer-Review Record

How Does Climate Change Worry Influence the Relationship between Climate Change Anxiety and Eco-Paralysis? A Moderation Study

Climate 2023, 11(9), 190;
by Matteo Innocenti 1, Alessio Perilli 2,3, Gabriele Santarelli 1, Niccolò Carluccio 1, Doris Zjalic 2,3,*, Daniela Acquadro Maran 4, Lorenzo Ciabini 1 and Chiara Cadeddu 2,3
Reviewer 1:
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Reviewer 4: Anonymous
Climate 2023, 11(9), 190;
Submission received: 25 July 2023 / Revised: 8 September 2023 / Accepted: 10 September 2023 / Published: 13 September 2023

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

While the paper presents an overview of the study on the validation of the Italian versions of Hogg's Eco-Anxiety Scale (HEAS) and the Eco-Paralysis Scale and their relationship with worry, there are certain aspects that appear to be lacking or not fully reflective of the study's complexity and implications. Below is a critical review pointing out some of these limitations: first, the abstract briefly mentions the validation of the HEAS and Eco-Paralysis Scale, and it does provide much detail on the methods used to validate these scales. Information about the validation process, including construct validity, convergent validity, and discriminant validity, is crucial to assess the accuracy of the scales in measuring the intended psychological constructs. Also in its current form, the abstract reads a little discordant, refined to improve flow and structure and the method section is too large with multiple sections and sub-sections – it is advised to create a methodological schematic chart and try to harmonized two-line subsections into a flow that ensure better clarity

 Second,  about Sample Size and Diversity: The study was conducted on only 150 Italian individuals. This relatively small sample size might not be representative enough to draw robust conclusions about the entire Italian population's experiences with eco-anxiety and eco-paralysis. The authors need to explain information on the demographic diversity of the sample while age and gender is fine a little bit about the socioeconomic background and education levels to best explain the specificity and generalizability ( the authors have a limitation section that can be boosted to cover the points reflected in this review and beyond the statistical relevance) of the findings to different groups.

The abstract doesn't provide information on the research methodology used beyond data collection through questionnaires, add some details ( line or two ) about the research design, procedures, and potential limitations of the methodology and key interpretations of results that would enhance the study's credibility. Also, add some aspects to the conclusion.

The paper suggests that worry acts as a moderator between climate change anxiety and eco-paralysis. However, it's important to clarify whether this study can establish a causal relationship or only a correlation. The discussion on the possible underlying mechanisms that might explain this relationship, leaves readers curious about the psychological processes involved i.e Causation vs. Correlation, the result section is full of tables and very limited explanations, needs a major revision to highlight key points from each of figures and tables

While the authors mention the role of education in reducing the risk of eco-paralysis, it doesn't delve into the specifics of how education contributes to this effect. Further information on the type of education, its content, and its impact on individuals' perceptions and actions would provide a more nuanced understanding of this finding, this could be also considered by citing the work of scholars who have elaborated on this topic. Also, clarity on potential biases and limitations could be enhanced, including in all sections more so results, that might have influenced the study's outcomes. For example, there might be selection bias in the sample, as individuals who are already concerned about climate change might be more likely to participate. Additionally, the conclusion doesn't discuss any limitations of the study's design, or data collection.

While the abstract mentions the need to reinforce "cognitive concern" as a strategy to address climate change anxiety and eco-paralysis, it doesn't elaborate on the broader implications of this recommendation. What are the societal or policy-level implications of these findings? How might these findings contribute to public awareness or interventions related to climate change? Broader Implications could also be included in the discussion.

Overall, while the paper provides an overview of the objective, it lacks a few details and critical analyses that would allow readers to fully assess the study's validity, significance, and potential implications. For instance, a more comprehensive discussion of the study's methodology, findings, limitations, and broader context is needed to accurately evaluate its contribution to the field of eco-anxiety and its connection to climate change impacts in comparative context of similar studies in other parts of the world, also the conceptual underpinning of terms such as eco-anxiety and eco-paralysis can be explained in more detail as possible, definitions etc

References seem to be capturing the narrative presented in the study and the journal team should check for style and format and ensure that all that is cited in the text is included in the list and vice versa



Some parts can be written in simple format like the conclusions for instance and the results should be explained more clearly

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

Dear Authors,

The analyzed manuscript is interesting and studies the problems related to the manifestation of anxiety and the state of Eco-Paralysis of the Italian population, which are generated by climate changes. The article is complex, due to the large number of questionnaires and items used in the research. The authors have experience in the topic addressed, an aspect confirmed by similar published research. I can give you some minor suggestions for improving the reviewed version:

1. References for this journal would usefully be enclosed in square brackets []. Text formatting can also be improved.

2. Lines 142-156: You have designed a 12-item Eco-paralysis assessment questionnaire and scale. It would be useful if the respective items were presented in table 4 (which includes data related to the validation of this questionnaire).

3. The questionnaires listed and analyzed in paragraphs - 2.5.1. Climate Change Anxiety Scale (CCAS), 2.5.2. Climate Change Worry Scale (CCWS), 2.5.3. Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS), 2.5.4. Pro-Environmental Behaviors Scale (PEBS), 2.5.5. Hogg eco-anxiety scale - could be presented with associated items in an Appendix. These data provide important information related to your study and I think it would be easier for the readers to understand what tools were applied in the investigation carried out and what is their structure. It's just a proposal.

4. Table 1: Were statistical tests used to assess/verify the normality of the distribution of the results in order to apply parametric procedures/t-test?

5. Figures/graphs 1,3 and 4: I think their titles would be useful to be placed below the graphs (lines 334, 384, 387).

6. Line 365: ................. (tab.2)? The values of the correlation coefficients are shown in Table 3.

7. Did you compare the results between genders/table 1. It would be interesting to analyze (in other possible studies) the differences that also exist between other independent variables (eg professional category/field of activity). I think that those involved in agriculture, forestry or tourism (fields directly affected by climate change) would get different results than other categories, where the effects are indirect.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 3 Report

The article raises an important issue of the impact of environmental changes on mental health. This is an interesting research area, specially when  the dominant research trend is related to  impact on physical health. After reading the article, I have the following suggestions:

-        the article should be enriched with a more detailed description of the study group. Is it possible to present characteristics such as: age gradation, place of residence (city, rural areas) ,professional status or other demographic descriptors?

-        it is worth adding the justification of the conducted research by including abbreviated forecasts of the impact of climate change on the environment, economy and society of Italy

-        the authors should include information whether negative phenomena related to climatic factors (e.g. drought or heat) occurred during the research period. The occurrence of such factors could have influenced the assessment of the respondents.

-        The article should also include a reference to the phenomenon of the so-called eco-gender gap (a social phenomenon involving a higher level of concern for the environment among women). Has the above factor been found in Italian society and how could it have influenced the result of the study?

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 4 Report

Comments for author File: Comments.pdf

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Round 2

Reviewer 1 Report

The methodologies section of a research paper plays a crucial role in the overall quality and credibility of the study. This section outlines the systematic approach taken to collect, analyze, and interpret data, and other researchers need to understand and potentially replicate the study. Here are some key considerations when refining the methodology, which remains my key review comment before the script is accepted.

Ensure that the description of the research methods is clear and well-structured. Readers should be able to understand the procedures followed, the approach used, and the steps taken in data collection and analysis. Suggest to draw a schematic chart. The multiple sub-sections and headings in the current presentation of this section do not help maintain reading flow. Some subheadings have only two lines of text.

Check for consistency in terminology and concepts throughout the methodologies section. Make sure that key terms are defined and used consistently.

Reiterate the rationale for selecting specific methods. Explain why these methods were chosen over alternatives.

Ensure that the methodologies are described in a way that would allow other researchers to replicate the study if desired. This promotes transparency and the credibility of the research.

Editing the methodologies section of a research paper is an essential step in ensuring that the research is well-documented, transparent, and contributes meaningfully to the academic community. It is worth investing time and effort into refining this section to enhance the overall quality of the research.


 The authors can also attempt to refine the overall structure and flow of the paper 

Dear Authors

I have reviewed your research paper and would like to provide feedback on the quality of English in the manuscript. Overall, the paper demonstrates a strong foundation in the subject matter, and your research findings are noteworthy. However, I have observed some areas where the English language could be improved for better clarity and readability.

Firstly, it's important to ensure that your sentences are clear and concise and not just limited to technical explanation, more so as noted in the results section. Avoid overly complex sentence structures and wordiness, as this can hinder comprehension.

To improve the paper's flow, review sentence and paragraph transitions. Use transitional words and phrases to guide readers through the text and sections/sub-sections seamlessly. Check for citations and references adhering to the required format, and I recommend cross-checking in-text citations with the reference list for accuracy once again.

In summary, while your research is insightful, enhancing the quality will significantly improve the paper's overall impact and readability.





Author Response

Dear reviewer,

thank you for your very important remarks. We summerized the methodology in a scheme as suggested and made the suggested check. We revised the linguistic structure and fluidity of the text. 

We thank you for your valuable contribution, which has given us the opportunity to improve the overall quality of the work.

Reviewer 4 Report

Thank you for attending to the points mentioned in the review.

Just a note that for the coefficient alpha, it is "Cronbach" not "Chronbach."


Author Response

Dear reviewer,

Thank you for your kind remark. We corrected the error. 

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