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.
|Journal||Journal of Happiness Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2006|