A new study out of the University of West Terrier says that Extinction Anxiety (EA) is not the only mental health issue faced by members of The Park’s endangered species.[pullquote]In a Park in which survival is a key component of self-esteem, members of endangered species feel the stigma profoundly.”—Dr. Luule Aednik, psychologist and researcher[/pullquote]
In a paper scheduled for publication in the August issue of the prestigious Journal of Experimental and Reactive Psychology (JERP), researchers report that Animals who are formally classified as members of endangered species feel the identification stigmatizes them. This makes them loath to admit to their status publicly and to take advantage of the related benefits to which they are entitled.
“We were surprised at first by the findings,” the study’s lead researcher, psychology professor Dr. Luule Aednik, said in an exclusive interview with The Mammalian Daily.
“Our natural reaction is to think they would welcome the empathy or sympathy of their fellow Park citizens. But when we dug deeper into the endangered experience, we realized these Animals were dealing with something much more insidious and almost as dangerous. And that is the unsympathetic attitude they experience from other species,” Aednik said.
Aednik explained that since survival itself remains the fundamental and overarching ethos of The Park, those who are marked as non-survivors—even generations hence—can experience unfair treatment and may even feel ostracized by members of other species.
“In a Park in which survival is a key component of self-esteem, members of endangered species feel the stigma profoundly, even without the attendant problems of low income, low employment levels, and a lack of support from other communities,” she said.
Referring to the background of the study, Aednik said she was moved to investigate when she read about the low levels of participation in the Department of Well-Being and Safety’s Endangered Species Benefit Programme (ESBP).
“In a way, that defied logic. I sensed there was a problem here that was worth investigation,” she said.
Aednik said she and her fellow researchers will continue to study citizens’ reactions to endangered species and she hopes the information will spark conversation among members of non-endangered species.