Subjective well-being among Russian students


Balatsky, G., & Diener, E. (1993). Subjective well-being among Russian students. Social Indicators Research, 28(3), 225-243.


The subjective well-being of 116 Soviet students at two locations in the Soviet Union was assessed with traditional self-report measures and with an event memory task. Both measures showed the Soviet students to be low in well-being compared to students in most of 38 other countries. Soviet well-being was especially low when considered in relation to per capita GNP. The single domain which best predicted global well-being in the Soviet Union was leisure satisfaction. Soviet students were most satisfied with their religion, living partner, friendship, and family relations, and least satisfied with transportation, education, and finances. The structure of well-being was very similar in the C.I.S. (U.S.S.R.) as in the U.S. For example, the Satisfaction with Life Scale formed a unitary factor, as it does in the U.S., and the PANAS formed two clear affect factors, as has been uncovered by Watson, Clark, and Tellegen (1984) in the U.S. and Japan. Overall, the measures divided into life satisfaction, peasant affect, and negative affect components, replicating data in the U.S. (Andrews and Withey, 1976). These results suggest the structural invariance of well-being across cultures. The paper discusses several potential reasons that Russian students report low levels of well being.

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