Article Information


Nina Rusinova (,

Viacheslav Safronov (

Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Rusinova N., Safronov V. (2021) Assotsiatsii tsennostey i samootsenok zdorov'ya v kul'turnykh kontekstakh yevropeyskikh stran [Associations of values and self-rated health in the cultural contexts of European countries]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 24(4): 138–161 (in Russian).

Abstract. The article deals with the problem of connecting people's value motivations with their self-rated health. The theoretical basis is modern ideas about the relationship of values with subjective well-being and its differences in cultural contexts (S. Schwartz and his colleagues). The study uses data from the European Social Survey (ESS 2012), 27 countries. Data on respondents' assessments of their health and values, supplemented by aggregated indicators of cultural differences between countries, were analyzed by statistical methods of multilevel modeling. In support of the theory, it is shown that the “conservation” values, combining social orientation and the desire to eliminate anxiety, are associated with a deterioration in self-rated health, and preferences indicating “openness to change”, due to personal orientation and emphasis on growth, are combined with its improvement. The increase in the subjective health status with the personal focus characteristic for the “self-enhancement” values is compensated by the increased anxiety generated by the lack of money and power. The improvement of self-rated health when a person seeks to establish relations with a close circle and achieve improvement of the social relations in society, to which “self-transcendence” values motivate, is hindered by the external locus of success of actions taken, and the general vector is directed towards deterioration of health. Results of modeling also suggest that the links between values and self-rated health depend on the social context. In European societies, whose culture is focused on hierarchical ordering and social interconnection, conditions are created for a positive association of self-rated health with the “openness to change” values and negative — with preferences for “conservation”. To a lesser extent, such patterns were manifested in cultures built on egalitarianism and autonomy. The analysis also demonstrated that the contextual differences in the relationship of values to perceived health are only partly due to culture. They are better explained by another contextual variable that records the country's belonging to Eastern or Western Europe.

Keywords: self-rated health, individual values, culture, West and Eastern Europe, European Social Survey (ESS), two-level modeling.


The study was supported by the RFBR, research project “Social inequalities in health and personal psychological resources: a study of relationship in Russia and European countries with statistical methods of multilevel modeling”, grant no. 18-013-00064 a.


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