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World woes affects parenthood

8th October 2007

A YouGov survey has found many people do not want to have children or make future plans because of world problems and events.

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The survey of 2012 people, commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation, showed that 70% of respondents were most frightened by terrorism. Worries about immigration concerned over half the respondents and over a third worried about climate change.

The results were delivered before World Mental Health Day on 10 October.

World issues made 56% of the respondents feel powerless and half feel angry. 35% reported feeling anxious and over a quarter said they felt depressed.

Clinical psychologist Dr Michael Reddy said world issues and problems could cause people to feel worried because they attack their "sense of security".

He said: "As social animals, we are sensitive to dangers from other humans that are intentional, such as terrorism."

He said that the danger from natural disasters did not cause us to feel as concerned. He stated that immigration could cause people to feel worried because they need to see themselves as belonging to groups who have similar values and behaviour.

"Feeling a threat to one's group from an unknown force, such as immigration, can threaten this sense of security and make people feel anxious."

In order to cope with their worries, over one-third of people surveyed said they looked for more information about a subject and 33% spoke to family or friends.


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