Background. Environmental Identity (EID) is a construct that demonstrates the extent to which people perceive themselves as a part of nature, incorporated in it, and defined by it. This concept, despite being relatively new, has proven to be associated with various beneficial traits such as emotional calmness, vigor, reduced stress, increased attentiveness, and positive mental effect (Kals, Schumacher, & Montada; Pretty et al.; Hartig et al., Raanaas et al.). It is also connected with nature conservation behavior and empathy towards people and nature (Scott & Willits; Paul, Hartmann, & Apaolaza-Ibáñez; Tam; Modi & Patel).
While there have been analyses correlating personality traits with other nature-related concepts –– e.g., environmental engagement, environmental concern, and ecological behavior (Milfont & Sibley; Wuertz; Markowitz et al.), there is little evidence of which personality traits are connected with Environmental Identity.
Objective. Current research has three objectives: 1) to test the connection between Environmental Identity and Mental Wellbeing on a Russian sample; 2) to discover which personality traits are connected with Environmental Identity; and 3) to find out whether or not these personality traits moderate the Environmental Identity – Mental Wellbeing connection. Three hundred and twelve (312) students, of which79.2% were females, participated in the study. The majority of participants (90.4%) were undergraduate students at Russian universities under 20 years old.
Methods. To perform our study, we used the Environmental Identity scale, the Short Big Five, and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
Results. We confirmed the connection between Environmental Identity and Mental Wellbeing on a Russian sample. Openness to Experience was the only significant personality trait predictor of Environmental Identity. Moderation analysis did not reveal any personality traits to be significant moderators between Environmental Identity and Mental Wellbeing.Conclusion. We concluded that the impact of Environmental Identity on Mental Wellbeing does not depend on specific personality traits, suggesting that it has a universal resource function, and is importance for Russian people in general in terms of their mental wellness.
Keywords: Environmental Identity (EID); mental wellbeing; nature; personality.