Léan V OBrien

Léan V OBrien
University of Melbourne | MSD · Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

PhD

About

30
Publications
13,631
Reads
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624
Citations
Citations since 2017
15 Research Items
445 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - February 2015
University of Canberra
Position
  • Senior Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Throughout history, people have expressed the desire for an ideal society—a utopia. These imagined societies have motivated action for social change. Recent research has demonstrated this motivational effect among ordinary people in English-speaking countries, but we know little about the specific content of ordinary people’s utopian visions in dif...
Article
Full-text available
A sense of psychological connectedness with the natural world has important benefits for global health. In a time of environmental crisis, however, it may also be accompanied by mental health risks. We used national survey data collected after a severe Australian bushfire season (N = 3,875) to test a path model of the relationships between nature c...
Article
Anxiety relating to a multitude of ecological crises, or eco-anxiety, is a subject of growing research significance. We used a multi-study mixed-methods design to explore eco-anxiety in Australia and New Zealand, validating a new eco-anxiety scale. In Study One, we developed and tested a 7-item eco-anxiety scale (n = 334), finding that this capture...
Preprint
Anxiety relating to the ecological crisis, or eco-anxiety, is a subject of growing research significance. We used a multi-study mixed-methods design to explore eco-anxiety in Australia and New Zealand, validating a new eco-anxiety scale. In Study One, we developed and tested a 7-item eco-anxiety scale (n = 334), finding that this captured some, but...
Article
Low carbon readiness (LCR) is an aspect of environmental identity, an individual citizen’s willingness to reduce carbon emissions and transition to low carbon lifestyle as a personal striving. Nevertheless, individuals’ personal strivings are strongly influenced by the social context in which they are situated. We propose the social context of envi...
Article
In many developed countries, the number of farmers working in commercial agriculture continues to decline with more likely to leave in the future. The act of farming and autonomy of farming work are central to farmers’ identity. Although loss of autonomy when exiting farming may pose a threat to identity and reduce farmer wellbeing, these are notab...
Article
One way in which individuals can participate in action to change the society they live in is through the pursuit of an ideal society or ‘utopia’; however, the content of that utopia is a likely determinant of its motivational impact. Here we examined two predominant prototypes of utopia derived from previous research and theory ‐ the Green and Sci‐...
Chapter
The Low Carbon Readiness Index (LCRI) is a short measure of people’s motivation to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the home and personal travel. This chapter describes the LCRI’s design and validation as a predictor of low carbon behaviour, using self-reported behaviour and direct measures of energy consumption. It also highlights how soci...
Chapter
This chapter introduces a social psychological framework for understanding the complexity of behaviour and behaviour change, with a specific focus on low carbon behaviours. We consider how personal motivations and abilities, social relationships and contextual factors contribute to people’s low carbon practices in the household, ranging from househ...
Article
Full-text available
The problems and challenges associated with planetary health are vast and interconnected, and are therefore requiring of research which takes an all-of-society perspective. Following calls for input from behavioural scientists in discussions about planetary health, we here present a review and synthesis of recent research on utopian thinking and la...
Preprint
One way in which individuals can participate in changing the society they live in is through the pursuit of an ideal society or ‘utopia’; however, the content of that utopia is a likely determinant of its motivational impact. Here we examined two predominant prototypes of utopia derived from previous research and theory - the Green and Sci-Fi utopi...
Article
This paper presents a theoretical argument that low carbon strivings – personal goals to reduce carbon footprint in the household – can predict a wide range of diverse behaviours to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reports four studies to validate Low Carbon Readiness Index (LCRI), a short, three-item measure of low carbon strivings. It is a si...
Article
Full-text available
Images of ideal societies, utopias, are all around us; yet, little is known of how utopian visions affect ordinary people’s engagement with their societies. As goals for society, utopias may elicit processes of collective self-regulation, in which citizens are critical of, or take action to change, the societies they live in. In three studies, we i...
Article
Full-text available
The links between social capital and mental wellbeing are established but the direction of the social capital-wellbeing relationship is rarely systematically examined. This undermines the validity of social capital as a basis for health interventions. The aim of this paper was to explore the short-term (one-year) reciprocal relationship between com...
Article
Full-text available
The mental health impact of drought is poorly quantified and no previous research has demonstrated a relationship between distress and explicit environmentally based measures of drought. With continuing climate change, it is important to understand what drought is and how it may affect the mental health. We quantified drought in terms of duration a...
Book
Full-text available
A decade ago, 13 per cent of Australian adults were living in extreme, multifaceted disadvantage, or ‘marginalised’ circumstances, defined as a complex mix of economic, social, early-life and health disadvantage. Following up 866 of these Australians ten years on, over a period of primarily strong economic growth, we find that almost 60 per cent ha...
Article
Full-text available
Farmers have particular wellbeing-related vulnerabilities that conventional health interventions struggle to address. We consider the potential of natural resource management (NRM) programs, which reach large numbers of farmers, as non-conventional place-focused wellbeing interventions. Although designed to address environmental degradation, NRM ca...
Article
Prevailing child psychopathology paradigms focus on caregiving in isolation from market work. Yet most children's caregivers - mothers and fathers - are also employed. Although policy and academic debate has voiced concerns that employment could hamper mothers' capacity to care, less emphasis is given to the benefits generated by mothers' jobs. By...
Article
Full-text available
Background Psychological life satisfaction is a robust predictor of wellbeing. Public health measures to improve wellbeing would benefit from an understanding of how overall life satisfaction varies as a function of satisfaction with multiple life domains, an area that has been little explored. We examine a sample of drought-affected Australian far...
Data
Appendices A, B & C. Supplementary material regarding (a) sampling procedure and missing data, (b) associations between measures, and (c) relationships in the SEM models that were <.2 in strength.
Article
Community members are often faced with dilemmas in which pursuing their own personal self-interest can result in collective disaster. To avert disaster, people may turn to consensually held rules of fairness to solve their dilemmas. In this chapter, we review several common rules of fairness people may employ in distributing valued resources and in...
Article
In the context of high and rising rates of parental employment in Australia, we investigated whether poor quality jobs (without security, control, flexibility or paid family leave) could pose a health risk to employed parents' children. We examined the extent to which both mothers' and fathers' jobs matter, and whether disadvantaged children are mo...
Chapter
Community members are often faced with dilemmas in which pursuing their own personal self-interest can result in collective disaster. To avert disaster, people may turn to consensually held rules of fairness to solve their dilemmas. In this chapter, we review several common rules of fairness people may employ in distributing valued resources and in...
Article
Full-text available
Community members are often faced with dilemmas in which pursuing their own personal self-interest can result in collective disaster. To avert disaster, people may turn to consensually held rules of fairness to solve their dilemmas. In this chapter, we review several common rules of fairness people may employ in distributing valued resources and in...
Article
In two studies we examined justified attributions made in the face of political disagreement. Study 1 showed that Australian supporters and opponents of Australian involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq made stereotypical attributions that justified the superiority of the in-group over the out-group. Stereotypical attributions were consistent wit...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To understand the links between climate change and mental health and wellbeing; to predict climate change impacts on population mental health; to promote understanding of how climate change can be a mental health opportunity