Life-satisfaction in post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine

Pamela Abbott, Roger Sapsford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


This paper fills a gap in the literature by looking at influences on the well-being of the citizens of Russia and Ukraine in the context of the triple shock – economic, political and social – that they experienced after 1991. The paper argues that lived experience – how people evaluate their living conditions – is as significant an influence on the welfare of citizens as are the actual conditions in which they live. The majority of the populations perceive the post-1991 economic and political changes negatively, and levels of general satisfaction and happiness are comparatively low. The findings suggest that objective economic factors, geographical/social location, health status and social context influence well-being, but also personal control and satisfaction with material circumstances, with health having a greater influence on happiness, while material circumstances and the evaluation of them have a greater influence on general satisfaction. The paper concludes by arguing for a model of reciprocal causation in which material factors provide the partially determining context for actions and are themselves influenced by happiness and satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


  • Ukraine
  • happiness
  • Russia
  • health


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