Psychological Well-Being of Russian Women and Men Coming from the Orthodox Environment

By Knyazeva, Tatiana N.; Semenova, Lidiya E. et al. | Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods, March 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Psychological Well-Being of Russian Women and Men Coming from the Orthodox Environment


Knyazeva, Tatiana N., Semenova, Lidiya E., Chevachina, Anna, V, Batuta, Marina B., Sidorina, Elena, V, Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods


Introduction

Currently, we can come across the notion of psychological well-being (PWB) of personality and its individual aspects in the works of many contemporary authors (Argyle, 2003; Semenova, Rosina & Chevachina, 2016; Shevelenkova & Fesenko, 2005; Patzlaff, 2000 and others). In most cases the emphasis is usually made on the connection of PWB with the general level of satisfaction of the person with himself and his own life, with the level of the personality's positive functioning. In other words, PWB is often interpreted as a subjective reality, which by its meaning and content relates primarily to the experience of man's relationship to himself and his life (Shevelenkova & Fesenko, 2005).

Research methodology

Given the contradictory nature of currently available data and absence of specific facts regarding PWB of Russian representatives from th e religious environment, we have aimed our research at studying some aspects of PWB of married women and men from the Orthodox environment as compared to similar aspects of PWB of their peers from the secular environment.

The aspects selected by us were life comprehension and marriage satisfaction, and to uncover specifics of these aspects «Purpose-in-Life" test (an adapted version of "Purpose-in-Life" test by James Crumbaugh & L. Maholick) and marriage satisfaction questionnaire (Stolin, 2001) were used.

There were 60 participants in our research: 30 subjects from the Orthodox environment (15 men and 15 women) and 30 subjects from the secular environment (15 men and 15 women). The subjects aged from 30 to 50 years.

We'd like to emphasize that we referred to the Orthodox category women and men who regularly take part in the Church sacramental services: Confession, Communion, Extreme Unction, if necessary; who attend Church service both on Sundays and week-days, whenever possible; who read the Gospels and patristic literature; who strive to live spiritual life. All above mentioned criteria have nothing to do with the category of secular people.

Results

The first part of our empiric study was devoted to the comparative analysis of overall level and substantive characteristics of life comprehension of middle-aged men and women from the Orthodox and secular environment.

All results obtained in this regard are reflected in Tables 1 and 2.

As can be seen in Table 1, in the scale "purpose in life" secular women and men show average scores, which indicates the presence in their lives of goals in the future, that give meaning, direction and time perspective to life. To this end, secular men have slightly higher scores than women, which indicates that the former have somewhat bigger number of purposes in life.

At the same time, Orthodox women and men in this scale show high values which characterize not only a motivated person, but also indicate lack of real ground for their implementation.

The scores in the scale "life process or interest and emotional intensity of life" in all groups of our subjects, except Orthodox women, are average, that is, the majority of our subjects are quite satisfied with their life and appreciate it as interesting, emotionally rich and filled with meaning. As for Orthodox women, this index has been found to be of high value, that is, these subjects turn out to be most satisfied with their lives.

In turn, scores in the scale "life effectiveness or satisfaction with self-realization", as well as in the scale "locus of control - I (I - the boss/ hostess of life)", are within average values in all groups of subjects that accordingly allows to say that all women and men feel effectiveness and comprehension of their lives, and that they imagine themselves as strong personalities with sufficient freedom of choice to build their lives according to their purposes and ideas about life's meaning.

In the scale "locus of control - life or life controllability" the subjects from secular environment demonstrate high scores that stand for their belief in ability to control their own lives, freely make decisions and implement them. …

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