, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 25-37
Date: 25 Mar 2009

Children of perestroika: the changing socioeconomic conditions in Russia and Ukraine and their effect on the psychological well-being of high-school adolescents

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Abstract

The present study investigates how the changing socioeconomic conditions in Russia and Ukraine affect the psychological well-being of high-school adolescents in these countries. Six indexes of psychological well-being, the adolescents’ perception of the economic conditions in their families, perceived parental practices (care and autonomy providing), and perceived social support were measured in 1999 and 2007. Macro-level socioeconomic conditions in Russia and Ukraine, as well as the adolescents’ perception of the economic conditions in their family, substantially improved from 1999 to 2007. However, the psychological well-being of the adolescents, as well as their perception of parental practices and the social support received from parents, peers, and teachers did not change. Russian adolescents consistently reported higher self-esteem and school competence than their Ukrainian peers, as well as higher parental care and autonomy providing, and higher social support received from peers. At the individual level, perceived parental care and autonomy providing, as well as perceived social support from parents, peers, and teachers were the major contributors to the adolescents’ psychological well-being. The obtained results are discussed in light of the conservation of resources and ecological systems theories.