Éva KÁLLAY1,*, Csaba L. DÉGI2, Sebastian PINTEA1, and Mária S. KOPP†,3
1 Department of Psychology, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2 Department of Social Work, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3 Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
The last three-four decades have brought significant social-economical-political changes in the Hungarian society, which have seriously affected different aspects of functioning of the general population. The main aim of the present study was to investigate major changes in well-being, satisfaction with life, negative affect (depressive symptoms), and possible reactions to the changes occurring in society, reflected by modifications in anomie, depending on age groups and gender, in a nationally representative Hungarian sample. Our results show an overall increase in well-being from 2002 to 2005/2006, moderated by age, but with no differences in evolution as a function of gender. Even if our results indicate that overall male participants present higher levels of satisfaction with life, this variable decreases for both gender groups from 2002 to 2005/2006 with similar effect sizes. Moreover, elder participants show lower levels of satisfaction with life than younger participants, and also with more intense decreases from one assessment to the other. Regarding negative affect our results indicate similar increases for male and female participants, also with older participants manifesting higher levels of negative affect as well as more intense increases in depressive symptoms. A similar pattern of anomie was found. Even if female participants recorded an overall higher level of anomie, the group of male participants yielded a more intense increase in anomie from one assessment to the other. Although older participants had higher levels of anomie the increase from 2002 to 2005/2006 was similar for all age groups. The present results may have a high informative power for those interested in the development of prevention and intervention programs targeting the general population.
KEYWORDS: well-being, satisfaction with life, depression, anomie, Hungary
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