Children in Arctic are happier than their southern peers

Children in Arctic are happier than their southern peers

April 01, 2021

Psychologists say that subjective well-being is an important indicator of the life quality.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Psychologists at Tomsk State University (TSU) have found that schoolchildren from villages and small Arctic cities subjectively feel more prosperous than their peers from Tomsk region. The research project of TSU students Vladimir Bodur and Grigory Chemerskoy took second place at the all-Russian competition of student papers on the Arctic in the Human health in the Arctic category.

After a survey of schoolchildren, it turned out that northern adolescents have higher indicators of subjective well-being – this is an analogue of the philosophical concept of happiness and quality of life. The northerners feel more secure, have a clearer idea of ​​the future, a positive assessment of the current situation and the effectiveness of themselves in their studies. And the indicators of deviant behavior: suicidal feelings, addictions, hostility, as well as negative self-esteem, lack of joy, etc., are much lower among adolescents from the Arctic.

“All this is important to understand in order to make the right decisions to prevent negative social phenomena. For example, for schoolchildren of the Far North, socialization and vocational guidance activities will be more effective. And for Tomsk schoolchildren, these are more likely events to develop a general culture of behavior, a healthy lifestyle”, one of the project authors Grigory Chemerskoy said.

Besides scientific significance, this research has also a social one. Teenagers from a boarding school who participated in the Tomsk psychologists’ study – children of the Nenets, nomadic peoples of the North, are placed in a situation of mixing nomadic and European cultures, are limited in social contacts due to the outflow of the population, and this has an additional effect on their psychological state. And during such meetings, schoolchildren have the opportunity to communicate with people from a different environment.

“When we went on an expedition, I had shoulder-length hair, and all the children showed wild interest in me, pointed fingers at me, even asked if I had a wig. It seemed to be just hair, but it was so unusual for their environment that it provoked such a surge of excitement and interest. Subsequently, they began to ask me how I live, what a university is and I asked what they want to be, and one girl said that she wanted to be a saleswoman in a shop. I really felt how the rural and urban environments differ, especially in life ambitions”, Vladimir Bodur shared his impressions.

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April 01, 2021

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