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SOCIOLOGICAL TOOLS IN DIAGNOSING LATENT TENDENCIES IN PUBLIC MENTAL HEALTH (THE CASE OF THE VOLOGDA REGION)

Mikhail Morev

Elena Smoleva (E-mail: riolenas@rambler.ru)

Vologda Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences" (VolRC RAS), Vologda, Russia

Citation: Morev M., Smoleva E. (2018) Vozmozhnosti sotsiologicheskogo instrumentariya v diagnostirovanii latentnykh tendentsiy obshchestvennogo psikhicheskogo zdorov'ya (na primere Vologodskoy oblasti) [Sociological tools in diagnosing latent tendencies in public mental health (the case of the Vologda Region)]. Zhurnal Sotsiologii i Sotsialnoy Antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 21(3): 26-45 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2018.21.3.2

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Abstract. The paper examines the dynamics of psychological well-being and tendencies of public mental health in the Vologda region using official statistics and the results of VolRC RAS sociological monitoring.

The authors analyzed the prevalence of negative mental states symptoms (anxiety, depression, neurosis) with the help of sociological instruments. They used the results of VolRC RAS public opinion monitoring; it has been conducted since 1996 every two months (data for 2000 — 2016). The sample size is 1500 respondents over 18 years old living in the cities of Vologda and Cherepovets, as well as in Babaevo, Veliky Ustyug, Vozhega, Gryazovets, Kirillov, Nikolsk, Tarnoga, Sheksna region. The representativeness of the sample is ensured by observing the proportions between the urban and rural population; between communities of various types (rural settlements, small and medium-sized towns); age and sex structure of the adult population in the region. The questionnaire was administered at the respondents' place of residence.

The official statistics data testify to the stable positive changes occurring in the dynamics of mental health among Russian population in the 2000s and 2010s. Nevertheless, on the latent, pre-pathological level, there are signs of a negative potential which may be mobilized under favorable circumstances. Sociological surveys conducted by the VolRC RAS show that in the Vologda region about a third of the population shows signs of anxiety, depression or neurosis; almost two thirds are uncertain about the future, which is an important factor preventing the formation of long-term life strategies.

Thus, the use of sociological tools to diagnose negative trends in public mental health makes it possible to identify dangerous trends at the latent, pre-pathological level. This is important for the prevention of mental illness and the prevention of deviant forms of behavior.

Keywords: public mental health, sociological tools, interpersonal alienation, diagnosis, morbidity, mortality

 

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