Anxiety about environmental hazards among teenagers in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn

Anxiety about environmental hazards among teenagers in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn

The Science of the Total Environment 234 Ž1999. 95]107 Anxiety about environmental hazards among teenagers in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn Paivi ¨ Ho...

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The Science of the Total Environment 234 Ž1999. 95]107

Anxiety about environmental hazards among teenagers in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn Paivi ¨ Hokkaa,U , Hannele Palosuo b, Irina Zhuravlevac , Kersti Parna ¨ d, Helena Mussalo-Rauhamaab, Nina Lakomovac a Statistics Finland, Fin-00022 Statistics Finland, Helsinki, Finland Department of Public Health, Uni¨ ersity of Helsinki, Box 41, Fin-00014 Helsinki, Finland c Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Science, Krzhizhano¨ sky st. 24 r 35, Block 5, 117259 Moscow, Russia d Department of Public Health, Uni¨ ersity of Tartu, Vanemuise Street EE2400 Tartu, Estonia b

Received 28 October 1998; accepted 7 March 1999

Abstract Comparative research of environmental attitudes has concentrated on adults of Western countries, whereas knowledge of environmental consciousness of East European people is modest. This article compares anxiety that teenagers in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn express about environmental hazards and their health effects. The data ŽHelsinki, N s 1396; Moscow, N s 618; Tallinn, N s 1268. were collected in schools by questionnaires from pupils between 13 and 18 years in 1994]1995. Air pollution, water pollution and survival of plant and animal species were considered most worrying environmental threats in every city. Environmental concern was usually highest in Moscow, but the effects of pollution on an individual’s health worried Estonian teenagers most. The worry was most consistent in Moscow, where sex, class level or opinion of the state of one’s own living environment did not usually have an effect on attitudes. Finnish girls and pupils in higher school classes were environmentally more conscious than boys or younger teenagers. In Tallinn, the sex and age differences in worry were smaller. Environmental worry seemed to have connections to a general sense of responsibility and risk behaviour such as heavy drinking and smoking. For all sites those pupils who often throw empty packages onto the street or into the nature expressed lower environmental concern than their more responsible peers. The differences of worry between the cities were difficult to interpret, but the greater total concern of young Muscovites may be part of their general social anxiety, which is associated with the instability of the Russian society. Q 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. Keywords: Environment; Attitudes; Young people; Finland; Russia; Estonia

U

Corresponding author. Tel.: q358-9-1734-3557; fax: q358-9-1734-3562. E-mail address: [email protected] ŽP. Hokka.

0048-9697r99r$ - see front matter Q 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 0 4 8 - 9 6 9 7 Ž 9 9 . 0 0 1 1 7 - 5

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P. Hokka et al. r The Science of the Total En¨ ironment 234 (1999) 95]107

1. Introduction Social scientific interest in environmental issues started to grow in the 1980s. The core question in environmental problems was seen to be the relation of man and Nature. Consequently, environmentally relevant human behaviour became an important topic to study. One of the largest areas has been research of attitudes ŽLowe and Rudig, ¨ 1986.. Several surveys on environmental attitudes, especially for adult populations, have been carried out in the Western countries ŽEnvironmental issues, 1993; Survey of Public Attitudes to the Environment 1993, 1994., including Finland ŽUusitalo, 1986; Tulokas, 1990; Kaila-Kangas et al., 1994.. However, although environmental problems often cross national borders and require co-operation of nations, international comparative research of environmental attitudes has not abounded. Surveys made by the European Commission since 1982 ŽEuropeans and the Environment, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1995. and the OECD Ž1991, 1993; OECD Environmental Data, 1993. are the largest ones. A recent survey in the European Union ŽEuropeans and the Environment, 1995. informs us that 80]90% of the Europeans are either very or somewhat worried about global environmental threats, such as global warming and destruction of ozone layer. This concern is widespread, and does not vary much by socio-demographic background. The worry about the environment increased from 1982 to 1992, most notably between 1988 and 1992. In 1995 the total anxiety had declined, but was not lower than in 1988. Pollution and environmental damage to large areas of the former Soviet Union was brought to the attention of the world with the revelations of glasnost towards the end of the 1980s. Knowledge of environmental attitudes of people living in Russia or elsewhere in Eastern Europe, however, is still quite modest. A large survey including some of those countries has been conducted by the International Social Survey Program ŽISSP. in 1993]1994 in 20 countries targeting people over 15 years of age. National reporting of the study is now under way; Russia and Finland were among the countries studied ŽTanskanen, 1997..

Research into young people has been rare, even though their environmental attitudes can be considered important in view of future development. There are some surveys focusing on youth in Finland ŽJarvikoski, 1990; Jarvinen, 1995., but ¨ ¨ no extensive cross-cultural studies on environmental attitudes of the West and East European youth have been done so far. The present article addresses environmental attitudes of young people and is based on a comparative survey on health and environment of school children between 13 and 18 years in Finland ŽHelsinki., Russia ŽMoscow. and Estonia ŽTallinn.. 1.1. Characteristics of the study sites Russia, Finland and Estonia are historically closely linked to each other. Finland and Estonia were parts of the Russian Empire until the Russian Revolution in 1917. Finland gained independence from Russia in 1917, Estonia in 1918. Estonia was annexed to the Soviet Union in 1940 and parted from it in 1991 when the Soviet Union was disintegrated. The study sites are the capitals and largest cities of these countries ŽTable 1.. The cities and countries, however, are quite different with regard to their economic, social and political conditions as well as environment. Finland differs geographically from both Russia and Estonia by a higher share of inland waters Žlakes and rivers. of the total area, as well as a very high coverage by forests of the land area ŽTable 1.. In Estonia agriculture occupies far greater areas than in Finland and Russia. The geographical differences are also reflected in the main industries of the countries Žsee Table 1.. 1.1.1. En¨ ironmental situation The most polluted area of Finland is the southern part where Helsinki is situated. The depositions of air impurities from industry and traffic are greatest there and the depositions of foreign sources Žmainly from Russia and northern part of Central Europe . also tend to fall there ŽYmparistotilasto, 1994.. The atmospheric heavy ¨ ¨ metal depositions are greatest in the south-west of Finland ŽPori, Harjavalta. because of metal

P. Hokka et al. r The Science of the Total En¨ ironment 234 (1999) 95]107

and foundry industries ŽMakinen, 1994.. How¨ ever, there are no large and seriously damaged areas in Finland. The emissions to air, especially of sulphur, have significantly decreased since 1980, and also nitrogen oxides have somewhat decreased recently, but those of carbon dioxide have been at the same level for several years ŽFinland’s Natural Resources and the Environment, 1996.. In Estonia energy production presents the greatest environmental problems due to the use of oil-shale as a source of fuel. The energy production, industry and mining are concentrated in a narrow strip of land in the north-eastern part of the country which are associated with serious air pollution problems. Other polluted areas are the ŽMakinen, large cities of Tallinn, Tartu and Parnu ¨ ¨ 1994.. However, the emissions of the four main energy related substances have decreased substantially in Estonia between 1991 and 1994 Žemissions of SO 2 by 39%, NO x by 30%, CO by 45% and particles by 42%; Elsila, ¨ 1996]1997.. The industrial plants of the former So¨ iet Union were heavily concentrated around some large cities, which has caused strong local strain to the environment in many places. On the other hand, there are many nearly virgin natural areas, and the cities are surrounded with green sectors. The

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market economy is bringing a new kind of environmental pressure in its train, by the increasing consumption of manufactured goods by the population ŽPeterson, 1993.. The estimated total emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particles into the atmosphere from stationary sources were all greatest in Moscow ŽTable 2.. There were fewer cars per inhabitant in Moscow than in Tallinn or Helsinki ŽTable 2.. However, the amount of privately owned cars has risen there by approximately 200 000ryear in the 1990s ŽSuomen lahialueet, ¨ 1997.. In Tallinn also, the number of cars has strongly increased recently. Consequently the emissions from traffic to the air have grown and become more significant, while emissions from stationary sources have decreased because of closing down many industrial plants. The car fleet in Tallinn is relative old too. Traffic is the most important source of emissions at least regarding particulate matter, but reliable enough data on specific emissions are not available ŽAarnio, 1996]1997; Elsila, ¨ 1996]1997.. In Helsinki, the main source of emissions is energy production, but the share of traffic in the particle emissions and nitrogen oxides is considerable ŽHelsingin ymparistotilasto, 1998.. ¨ ¨

Table 1 Land using, main industries and capitals a Finland Total area (km2 ) Inland waters Of land area Forests Farmland Pasture Main industries Ž% of total industrial output.

Capital Inhabitants a

Russia

Estonia

338 145 10%

17 075 400 4%

45 227 6%

76% 8% 0%

53% 8% 8%

46% 22% 11%

Pulp, paper 17% Food 15% Metal 12% Electrical 11%

Metal, engineering 17% Fuels 16% Electricity 14%

Food 36% Machinery 11% Chemicals 10% Textiles 9%

Helsinki 0.5 million

Moscow 9]10 million

Tallinn 0.43 million

Sources: Country Profile: Estonia, 1996; Country Profile: Russia, 1996; Kansantalouden tilinpito 1990]1995, 1996; Kytomaki ¨ ¨ and Kankaanrinta, 1998; Estonia in figures, 1996; Russia in figures, 1997.

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Table 2 Examples of pollution. The estimated total emissions into atmosphere Žcalculated from figures in the statistical sources given below., and the number of private cars in 1995 Emissions from stationary sources Žtonsrkm2 . a

Helsinki Moscow Tallinn

Private carsr 1000 inhabit.

SO2

Particles

NOx

33 47 35

3 10 6

39 197 ]

300 150 338b

a

In Helsinki and Tallinn in 1995, in Moscow in 1993. Numbers of passenger carsr1000 inhabitants. Sources: Medicinskoe obsluzhivanie naselenija, 1994; Helsingin seutu tilastoina, 1996; Tallinn Arvudes, 1996; Suomen lahialueet, 1997; Helsingin ymparistotilasto, 1998. ¨ ¨ ¨ b

1.2. Aims of the study This article aims at defining how young people in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn assess the importance of different environmental problems. Both the order and the intensity of their environmental worry is being studied. The main focus is in analysing the differences in the environmental anxiety between the cities, but also sex, class level and the impact of the opinion concerning the local environment were studied as background and explanatory variables. Environmental attitudes were also scrutinised in the context of attitudes towards other worldwide problems, as well as the respondents’ personal hopes and worries concerning their future. In addition, it was assessed whether suffering from asthma or allergic rhinitis, or personal habits indicative of risk taking or responsibility, such as smoking, drinking alcohol or littering, were connected with environmental attitudes.

2. Data and methods The data were collected in schools in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn by almost identical questionnaires Žone question was not the same., consisting mainly of structured multiple-choice questions. In Helsinki, 562 pupils from six lower secondary schools and 834 pupils from the respective upper secondary schools Žgymnasium, 10th and 12th school year. participated in the survey in the autumn of 1994. The sample areas were chosen

on the basis of socio-economic information of the city districts, so that extreme districts by income level or age distribution were excluded, and schools receiving students from the same area were selected. Basic results of the Finnish survey are reported elsewhere ŽHokka et al., 1997.. In Moscow the data were collected in the spring of 1995 and comprise 618 pupils from the 9th, 10th and 11th classes from nine schools, which were selected from different ordinary living areas of Moscow Žbasic results of the Russian survey in Zhuravleva, 1997.. In Tallinn the data were collected in 10 Estonian secondary schools in the autumn of 1995. The schools were selected randomly by telephone catalogue from such neighbourhoods which are not exceptional regarding income level and age distribution, and special schools were excluded. A total of 1268 respondents from 8th, 10th and 12th classes participated in the survey. In all cities the share of girls in the data was slightly higher Žin Helsinki and Tallinn 56%, in Moscow 54%.. This was mainly due to the higher share of girls in the higher classes ŽHelsinki 57%, Moscow and Tallinn 60%, see Table 3 for data sets.. The distributions are thus quite similar in all cities; adjusting for sex did not alter the distributions of the dependent variables by more than 1% unit. Hence the results are mostly presented for the total population by city without splitting or adjusting for sex. The response rate in school surveys is generally high. In our study non-response consisted mainly of pupils who were absent on the research day.

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Table 3 Data sets: distributions by city, sex and school class Žabsolute numbers. a Helsinki

Moscow

Girls

Boys

Age

8th Class 9th Class 10th Class 11th Class 12th Class

263

298

14

All Ž N .

284

203

16

185

156

18

732

657

Tallinn

Girls

Boys

Age

150 104 80

161 89 33

15 16 17

334

283

Girls

Boys

Age

215

222

13]14

267

180

15]16

228

150

17]18

710

552

a

Ages The typical age of pupils in each school class.

Groundless absences from school are perhaps more common in Finland, but we do not have exact figures of theabsence rates in Russian and Estonian schools. In Finland four pupils refused to fill in the questionnaire and six questionnaires were rejected because they were filled jokingly. In Moscow and Tallinn that kind of non-response did not appear at all. The social background of the respondents was assessed by questions on the occupation and education of the supporter Žfather or someone else. of the family. In Moscow, 51% of the pupils reported their supporters to have a university degree, while in Tallinn this was 33% and in Helsinki 19%. These were counted from all respondents, including those who did not know their supporter’s education Žin Tallinn 16%, and in Moscow 6%.. In Helsinki this proportion was as high as 33%; yet, the percentage of pupils whose supporter had higher education is about the same as that among adults in Helsinki ŽHelsingin seutu tilastoina, 1996.. There seems to be some bias by education in the Moscow data, although it is noteworthy that having higher education is quite common in Moscow Ž30% of the population of 15 years or older and 37% of employed population ŽObrazovanie naselenija g. Moskvy, 1994.. In all cities there seems to be social selection of pupils after comprehensive school: children of the more highly educated parents tend to continue their studies. For the lower school classes Ž8th and 9th. there were fewer parents with a university degree everywhere. In Moscow this proportion was 42% which is quite near the share

of persons with higher education there ŽObrazovanie naselenija g. Moskvy, 1995., thus, the bias is partly due to educational selection. In none of the cities was the education of the supporter correlated with the environmental attitudes of the pupils. Therefore we do not believe that the differences in the levels of the parents’ education would bias the results in any significant way. En¨ ironmental concern was studied by a question with 13 items addressing environmental pollution and hazards Žpresented in Table 4.. Similar lists have been commonly used in Finnish surveys. The pupils had to indicate if they were very worried, somewhat worried or not at all worried about these problems, with ‘cannot say’ as an option as well. In addition, they were to tell how worried they were about the impacts of environmental pollution on their own health, with the same set of response alternatives. The respondents were asked to evaluate the state of their own residential en¨ ironment, first, in relation to the state of environment elsewhere in their country, and second, in relation to other European countries. Before enquiring about these attitudes there was an open-ended question of the most important worries and hopes concerning future, which produced some spontaneous answers with environmental issues. The data from all countries were recorded and combined at the University of Helsinki, where the comparative data analyses were carried out. The methods of analysis were mainly cross tabulations and correlation coefficients.

P. Hokka et al. r The Science of the Total En¨ ironment 234 (1999) 95]107

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Table 4 Worry about environmental problems in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn a Helsinki

Air pollution Pollution of natural waters Survival of plant and animal species Devastation of natural landscape Problem waste Oil disasters Increase of amount of waste Nuclear power plants Greenhouse effect Use of fertilisers and pesticides Clear felling and intensive forestry Damming up natural waterways Adverse effects of noise N

Moscow

Tallinn

Ro

Vw

Sw

Nw

Uc

Ro

Vw

Sw

Nw

Uc

Ro

Vw

Sw

Nw

Uc

1 2

57 38

39 54

2 3

3 5

1 3

88 69

10 25

1 2

1 4

1 2

74 53

23 40

2 3

2 4

3

41

49

5

4

2

77

20

1

2

3

40

48

5

8

4

33

55

6

6

9

26

42

15

17

4

43

41

6

10

5 6 7

39 41 35

49 45 49

6 7 8

7 8 8

5 7 6

71 62 51

19 24 38

4 7 7

7 7 5

7 6 5

31 41 38

44 37 43

10 9 7

16 13 12

8 9 10

40 32 18

39 40 49

14 12 15

7 15 19

8 12 10

45 28 32

32 29 35

11 23 15

12 20 18

8 12 10

40 28 22

30 32 43

13 12 15

17 28 20

11

18

43

19

20

4

66

25

3

7

11

21

42

18

20

12

8

41

27

24

11

23

38

21

19

13

10

37

21

32

13

7

36 40 18 1379]1387

13

19

34 36 612]617

11

9

25

43 22 1237]1252

10

a

Ranking order from the most worrying issue to the last one ŽRo.. Shares of very worried ŽVw., somewhat worried ŽSw., not at all worried ŽNw. and the uncertain ŽUc., %.

3. Results 3.1. Concern about en¨ ironmental problems The 13 items of environmental concern correlated strongly with each other, but no unambiguous dimensions to help to condense the analysis or interpretation were found in factor analysis. The results are presented item by item ŽTable 4.. There were many similarities in the understanding of environmental problems, regardless of the home city ŽTable 4.. The same three problems were considered most worrying everywhere: air pollution, pollution of natural waters, and survival of plant and animal species. For air and water pollution the teenagers in Moscow and Tallinn expressed extreme concern more often than those in Helsinki, although the total concern Žvery and somewhat worried. did not vary much between the cities. Hazardous wastes, increase of the amount of waste, oil disasters and nuclear power plants

caused much anxiety in every city Ž70]90% were at least somewhat worried.. The problems which caused most anxiety everywhere were most strongly pointed out by the young Muscovites, of whom the greatest share indicated being ¨ ery worried, whereas in Helsinki most adolescents were somewhat worried. In Tallinn the relation of strong and moderate concern varied ŽTable 4.. The least worrying issue was the adverse effects of noise in Moscow and Helsinki, but in Tallinn this concern was relatively high ŽTable 4.. One of the greatest differences was found in the case of clear felling and intensive forestry. While 66% of the Muscovites were very and 25% somewhat worried Ži.e. 91% in all., in Helsinki and Tallinn the whole amount of worried was approximately 60%, and a fifth was uncertain ŽTable 4.. To obtain an overall view, a simple sum variable of the 13 parts of environmental concern was calculated, ranging from low to high worry Ž13]52 points.. Means of the sum variable in the study sites Žsee Fig. 1 totals. also indicate that the

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101

Fig. 1. The means of total worry about environment according to categories of risk behaviour. Teenagers in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn Žtotal worrys sum of 13 items, minimum score 13, maximum 52..

overall concern was greatest in Moscow, but Helsinki and Tallinn were on an equal level. 3.2. The effect of sex and school class on concern Sex and age have been found to divide attitudes concerning environment in previous studies, e.g. in Finland ŽUusitalo, 1986; Jarvikoski, 1990; ¨ Jarvinen, 1995.. Substantial differences also came ¨ out in our study ŽTable 5.. In Helsinki there was a clear and statistically significant difference between the sexes in all problems. Usually the proportion of worried girls was greater than that of boys, or the amount of very worried girls was greater than that of quite worried, when most boys expressed moderate concern. In Tallinn, some statistically significant differences between girls and boys were also found, though they were nowhere near as unambiguous as in Helsinki. Girls were more often highly worried about the survival of plants and animals, air pollution, nuclear power plants and noise pollution than boys. On the other hand, clear felling

and intensive forestry as well as greenhouse effect gave rise to concern among boys more often than girls. At the same time, the proportion of not at all worried boys was greater than that of girls, who instead often were not able to state their opinion. In Moscow, worry about environmental problems was great among both sexes. A clear difference was found only in the case of nuclear power plants: 51% of girls were very worried about them, while among boys the proportion was 39% Ž P- 0.001.. Information distributed about environmental issues, e.g. in schools is one factor forming environmental attitudes. It was supposed that the class level would be more crucial in explaining environmental concern than the age of pupils as such. Instead of comparing age groups, we combined the pupils of the lower classes Ž8th or 9th school year. into one group and those on the higher classes Ž10th, 11th or 12th class. into another.

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Table 5 Concern about nuclear power plants and greenhouse effect according to school level, city and sex Ž%. a Lower classes

Helsinki

Moscow

Tallinn

Girls

Boys

Girls

Boys

Girls

Boys

Concern about nuclear power plants Vw Sw Nw Cs All N

48 37 6 10 100 261

41 38 11 10 100 295

54 30 5 11 100 149

44 33 12 11 100 160

49 23 10 18 100 212

41 24 12 24 100 207

Vw Sw Nw Cs All N

49 40 6 6 100 465

Concern about greenhouse effect Vw Sw Nw Cs All N

26 32 11 32 100 260

21 35 20 24 100 297

28 25 27 19 100 150

26 32 25 18 100 160

22 24 15 40 100 212

26 30 13 31 100 208

Vw Sw Nw Cs All N

46 41 6 8 100 463

a

Higher Helsinki classes Girls Boys

Moscow

Tallinn

Girls

Boys

Girls

Boys

23 39 32 6 100 356

48 31 8 14 100 184

32 32 23 12 100 121

38 33 10 19 100 492

36 33 21 10 100 327

30 49 14 7 100 356

25 30 19 27 100 183

39 26 22 13 100 122

26 36 9 29 100 492

34 33 14 19 100 327

Vw, very worried; Sw, somewhat worried; Nw, not at all worried; Cs, cannot say.

Most variation in the attitudes was found in Finland also according to the class level. Usually the older pupils felt more worry about environmental problems than the younger ones. In Tallinn, some problems Že.g. oil disasters, damming and nuclear power. aroused more concern among the younger pupils, and others Že.g. hazardous wastes, increasing amount of wastes, fertilisers and pesticides. in the higher classes. At the same time, uncertainty was more common among younger than older pupils. In Moscow, school class level did not have statistically significant effects on environmental concern. The greenhouse effect was an exceptional issue: worry about it was greatest in Helsinki and only slight in Moscow ŽTable 4.. When taking the sex and class level into account, the differences between the cities decrease clearly in the lower school classes ŽTable 5.. Older Finnish girls were the most worried of all.

about the possible harmful effects of pollution on hisrher own health: being very worried was much less common than in questions on environmental threats in general. High level of worry was much greater in Tallinn Ž35%. and Moscow Ž29%. than in Helsinki Ž10%. ŽTable 6.. In all cities girls were more worried than boys, but in Moscow the difference was not statistically significant. In Helsinki, older pupils were more concerned about health effects, while in Moscow it was the reverse. In every case, the concern was greatest among the Estonians. 3.4. Own area compared to other areas Finns had the most positive impression of their Table 6 Concern about hazards caused by pollution to one’s own health, according to city and sex Ž%. Helsinki Girls

3.3. Worry about health effects Strong concern about environment may not be expressed so easily when the question is brought to a more personal level. This was confirmed when asking whether the respondent was worried

Very worried Somewhat worried Not at all worried Cannot say All N

10 65 13 13 100 721

Moscow

Boys Girls 10 51 25 14 100 646

32 46 5 17 100 306

Tallinn

Boys Girls 24 52 8 16 100 251

38 55 3 5 100 701

Boys 32 53 8 7 100 527

P. Hokka et al. r The Science of the Total En¨ ironment 234 (1999) 95]107

residential environment. The majority Ž65%. considered it as good as other areas in Finland. When comparing one’s own environment to other European countries, 75% evaluated it to be better. Young people in Moscow and Tallinn saw their residential environment much more negatively. Most Muscovites considered it either equal Ž45%., or worse Ž44%. than elsewhere in the European part of Russia, but 59% worse than in the other countries of Europe. In Tallinn a greater part Ž45%. saw their living environment worse than other parts in Estonia, but some thought it to be as good Ž37%.. The percentages were nearly the same when they compared Estonia to Europe. In Helsinki, those who considered their local surroundings worse than elsewhere in Finland, were at the same time more worried about environmental problems in general. In Moscow none of the items of environmental worry varied statistically really significantly with the opinion about the state of one’s living environment. In Tallinn there was no clear pattern in these associations. 3.5. En¨ ironmental problems among other concerns The teenagers were asked to select four of the most serious world-wide problems from a list which consisted of ten problems of a global scale: nuclear fallout, famine, pollution, criminality and violence, inequality between people, energy crisis, lack of raw materials, desertification, greenhouse phenomenon and war. In Finland, pollution was most often picked out among the top four problems. Famine and war were other top issues. The lists chosen by the Russian and Estonian teenagers were close to each other. War was the most often chosen problem, and criminality and violence the second. Nuclear fallout was considered the 3rd and pollution the 4th in seriousness. In this perspective, Finnish pupils were most worried about environment and saw pollution most clearly as a global threat. One more possibility to check the importance of environmental issues was provided by an open-ended question where the respondents were asked to write down with their own words three hopes and three fears concerning their own fu-

103

ture. This information is available from the Finnish and Russian respondents. Environmental issues came out clearly more often among the fears than the hopes: 16% of the Finnish teenagers conveyed fears such as pollution, destruction of the ozone layer or nuclear disaster. Such fears came out among Russian teenagers more rarely Ž10%.. Four percent of the Finnish teenagers raised a clean environment among their hopes, compared to 2% of the Russians. Although the Muscovites worry strongly about environment, it did not emerge as strongly when it was considered among other concerns of life. It seems that environmental worry has connections to a general sense of responsibility and risk behaviour, such as smoking and heavy drinking. In Helsinki 3% of the respondents reported to be inebriated weekly, while in Moscow and Tallinn 2%. The shares of pupils who never get drunk were in Helsinki 48% and in Moscow and Tallinn 73%. Worry about environment was in Helsinki and Moscow Žbut not in Tallinn. clearly lower among those who reported weekly inebriation than among those who never get drunk ŽFig. 1.. In Moscow and Tallinn also the pupils who had never smoked Ž33% in Moscow and 35% in Tallinn. expressed on the average greater concern about the environment than those who smoke regularly Ž14% in Moscow and 10% in Tallinn.. This association was not found in Helsinki Žwhere 16% reported regular smoking and 28% had never smoked.. Of the respondents, 4% in Helsinki replied that they would ‘almost always’ throw empty packages onto the street or into the nature in a question concerning their littering behaviour. In Moscow this share was 6% and in Tallinn 3% of the respondents. The shares of those who never litter were 23% in Helsinki, 17% in Moscow and 16% in Tallinn. This kind of responsible behaviour, too, was consistent with worry, and in all study sites those who were careless about littering were less worried about the environment ŽFig. 1.. Risk of asthma is known to be increased by, among other things, pollutants in outdoor air, e.g. traffic emissions ŽBecklace and Ernst, 1997.. The prevalence of asthma among the respondents in all cities was 2]3%. In Tallinn worry about envi-

104

P. Hokka et al. r The Science of the Total En¨ ironment 234 (1999) 95]107

ronment was significantly higher among those who reported having asthma Žthe mean of the sum variable describing environmental concern was 41.6. compared to those without asthma Žmean 38.8.. In Helsinki and Moscow that kind of connection was not found. When considering air pollution separately, in Moscow and Tallinn, the shares of very worried were clearly greater among pupils having asthma compared to those who have not, whereas in Helsinki this connection was weaker. Suffering from allergic rhinitis was quite common especially in Helsinki Ž26%., but less so in Moscow Ž14%. and in Tallinn Ž10%., but it did not have a connection to environmental worry.

4. Discussion Teenagers in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn saw the most serious threats to the environment quite similarly. As a whole, young Muscovites expressed the strongest concern about environment, which was especially clear by looking at the shares of ‘very worried’ pupils. According to the sum variable expressing anxiety in general, the average worry of environment was the lowest among the Finnish youngsters ŽFig. 1.. Interestingly, recent international surveys of adult populations ŽEuropeans and the Environment, 1995; Tanskanen, 1997. have shown that the Finns express a quite slight concern when compared with other nationalities. In the survey of ISSP, people were asked, how dangerous they consider different environmental threats such as air pollution, water pollution, nuclear power, use of fertilisers and pesticides and greenhouse effect. Russia was among the countries, where the concern was highest, whereas in Finland the threats were considered less dangerous than the average ŽTanskanen, 1997.. Also, in a survey of the European Commission, anxiety about worldwide, as well as country level environmental threats, was in Finland the lowest of the 15 European countries studied ŽEuropeans and the Environment, 1995.. The difference in worry between teenagers in Helsinki and Moscow is in line with these observations. Environmental worry is one factor constituting

environmental consciousness. Environmental consciousness includes the knowledge of environmental problems, the way of relating to them, and attitudes which the knowledge awakens. It is also affected by one’s own experiences, mass media, popular movements and the environmental policy of the government, and even the socio-economic situation and the atmosphere of the society ŽRannikko, 1996.. In our study, attitudes also had a consistent behavioural component: littering was more common among those who were less concerned about environment. This connection was similar in all cities irrespective of sex. In addition, it seemed that environmental attitudes had a connection to some indicators of personal risk behaviour such as heavy drinking and smoking. It may be assumed, that if the teenagers have experiences about pollution, they feel greater concern about it. When considering the actual state of environment in these cities, the quality of air is an important indicator of pollution. Low air quality can often be sensed or perceived and it may also have relatively quick health effects. According to available indicators the air quality in Moscow seems to be somewhat worse than in Tallinn and Helsinki. This may partly explain the greater worry that the Russian teenagers expressed about pollution. There was more variation in the environmental worry in Helsinki according to sex, school class and respondent’s opinion of hisrher local environmental conditions. In Tallinn some variation was found, but not in Moscow where the concern was quite similar in all groups. The ISSP survey did not find great sex differences among the Russians, either ŽTanskanen, 1997; Statistics Finland, unpublished tables.. It is not excluded that the mass media may have a stronger impact on the environmental consciousness of the Finnish youngsters, whereas in Russia and also Estonia, adolescents’ own experiences may have a stronger role. The greater worry expressed by teenagers having asthma in Moscow and Tallinn Žbut not in Helsinki. gives some support to this kind of reasoning. Environmental problems have often been grouped into local, national and global problems.

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It has been found that in East European countries the local environmental situation is seen as very bad in relation to other countries, and the local problems are felt as the most worrying ŽTanskanen, 1997.. When the local and national problems are serious enough, they attract more attention than the global ones. In line with this, it seems that the teenagers assessed their local environment rather realistically when asked to compare it to other areas in their own country or Europe, Finns being most optimistic and Russians most pessimistic about their environment. One important factor is knowledge. Those environmental problems that worried the teenagers in all cities least were at the same time those about which they felt most uncertainty. The significance of those problems and their impact on environment were not fully understood. For example, the use of fertilisers and pesticides and the damming of waterways do not have a direct or observable impact on the quality of environment which would have been felt by our urban respondents. In the present study, the greenhouse effect was nearly the least worrying problem in Moscow and Tallinn, at the same time as there was more uncertainty about the issue than in Helsinki ŽTable 4.. There are at least two possible explanations. It may be due to the distant character of the problem, or lack of information. Knowledge about the greenhouse effect has been found to be lower in the Eastern Europe ŽTanskanen, 1997.. In Moscow and Tallinn, boys were, interestingly, more concerned about greenhouse effect and less uncertain than girls. This may have something to do with sex differences concerning orientation to, and knowledge of, scientific and technical issues. The common rise of environmental consciousness occurred in the three countries at a different time. In Finland, the ecological questions came into the field of politics at the turn of the 1970s and 1980s by the environmental movement. This movement stimulated the establishment of the Ministry of Environment and resulted in the election of the Greens to parliament in 1983. Environmental movement has had a great impact on the environmental consciousness of the citizens and given legitimacy to the environmental politics ŽJarvikoski, 1991; Borg, 1991.. ¨

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In Finland the worry about the environment increased in the 1990s, but declined slightly between 1989 and 1994. The changes in the total concern were quite small, but the share of those who are very worried about different problems has declined and the share of somewhat worried increased ŽTulokas, 1990; Statistics Finland, unpublished tables.. So, by the time of our study, environmental worry had passed its peak. In Estonia the green movement was founded in 1988 and was the first officially registered Green Party of the former Soviet Union. The Green Movement was closely connected to the nationality questions and the departure from the Soviet Union. It has had organisational and political success, and its possibilities to influence on decision making have been greater than in Russia, where the rise of environmental movement has been slower than elsewhere in the former Soviet Union ŽPeterson, 1993; Hiltunen, 1994.. The ecological discourse began in Russia towards the end of the 1980s. The worsening of environment was one impulse in the distrust on status quo and was connected to the overall dissatisfaction with the society. The size of the country and its lack of coherence have been problems of the Russian environmental movement ŽPeterson, 1993.. The visibility and acceptability of a Green Movement can promote an image that the environmental problems can be handled in the society. The success of the Green Movement in Estonia might be one explanation for the somewhat slighter concern about the environment among teenagers in Tallinn as compared to Moscow, although some problems are common with Russia. Environmental worry is clearly strong in Russia, at least among young Muscovites, although it has been claimed that the economical troubles and hardships of everyday life at present have lessened this concern ŽPeterson, 1993.. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its internal economic system in the beginning of 1990s resulted in serious economic difficulties when transforming socialism to market capitalism in Russia and Estonia too. Estonia got over the recession faster than the larger Russia ŽHanson, 1996.. The economically and socially unstable conditions in

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Russia may have the effect that young people are generally more concerned about the state of society than teenagers, e.g. in Finland. So the great worry that Russian teenagers feel about environmental problems is perhaps one part of their overall high anxiety. This ‘general awareness’ explanation gets support from the results concerning the hopes and worries of the teenagers. The environmental issue did not come out especially often in the free-form reasoning of the future of the Muscovites. When the environmental problems were placed among other world-wide problems, criminality and war were seen as more acute threats in Moscow and Tallinn. This undoubtedly has something to do with the instability of the Russian and Estonian societies. Also it seems that the environment is seen more as a locally than globally serious problem there. The Russian teenagers are no doubt worried about environment, but it is not the only or the most serious or immediate thing that they are worried about. References Aarnio P. Traffic emissions In: Sucksdorff-Selkamaa A, editor. ¨ The initial environmental review of the city of Tallinn. Union of the Baltic Cities, Commission on Environment. Baltic Municipal Environmental Auditing ŽMEA. Project, 1996]1997:79]87. Becklace MR, Ernst P. Environmental factors. Lancet 1997;350ŽSuppl II.:10]13. Borg O. Vihreat ¨ } vihrea¨ liike politiikassa. ŽThe Greens } Green Movement in politics, in Finnish... In: Massa I, Sairinen R, editors. Ymparistokysymys. Ymparistouhkien ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ haaste yhteiskunnalle. Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 1991:180]194. Country Profile: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania 1996]1997. London: The Economist Intelligence Unit, 1996. Country Profile: Russia 1995]1996. London: The Economist Intelligence Unit, 1996. Elsila A, editor. ¨ H. Emissions to air. In: Sucksdorff-Selkamaa ¨ The initial environmental review of the city of Tallinn. Union of the Baltic Cities, Commission on Environment. Baltic Municipal Environmental Auditing ŽMEA. Project, 1996]1997:58]66. Environmental Issues. Peoples views and practices. Belconnen: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1993. Estonia in Figures. Tallinn: Statistical Office of Estonia, 1996. Europeans and their environment. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities, 1982. Europeans and their environment. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities, 1986.

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