Population and Environment

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 45–67

Seasonal and weather-related behavioral effects among urban Aboriginal, urban non-Aboriginal, and remote Aboriginal participants in Canada

  • Benita Y. Tam
  • William A. Gough
  • Vicky Edwards
  • Leonard J. S. Tsuji
Original Paper


The influence of seasonal change and weather on mood, social activity, weight, food consumption, and sleep length was compared across urban Aboriginals (n = 43), urban non-Aboriginals (n = 49), and remote Aboriginals (n = 39) in Ontario, Canada. Such research is important since climate change may differentially shape the well-being of social groups. Behavioral items—including mood, social activity, weight, sleep, and food consumption—were measured using the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire, and associations between these items and meteorological data were examined with bivariate and multivariate approaches. Weather variables had consistent, significant associations with behavior except within the remote Aboriginal group despite living in a more extreme climate. Lifestyle and adaptation may contribute to an increased weather tolerance among remote Aboriginal people, intriguing findings as cultures grapple with the implications of future climate change.


Aboriginal people Seasonality Weather Behavior Urban Remote Environment Climate change Adaptation Culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benita Y. Tam
    • 1
  • William A. Gough
    • 1
  • Vicky Edwards
    • 2
  • Leonard J. S. Tsuji
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physical and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Toronto ScarboroughScarboroughCanada
  2. 2.Fort Albany First NationFort AlbanyCanada
  3. 3.Department of Environment and Resource StudiesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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