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Stresses and opportunities of transformation: the impact on health

Rose, Richard and Bobak, Martin (2010) Stresses and opportunities of transformation: the impact on health. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 26 (1). pp. 80-100. ISSN 1352-3279

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Abstract

The combination of stresses and opportunities following the transformation of the communist bloc countries affected the health of individuals in contrasting ways. Since individual health reflects an accumulation of conditions over a lifetime, the differential evolution of the mean level of health in communist bloc countries and OECD countries has been maintained subsequently. Within-nation differences in individual health have also continued. A multiplicity of explanations exist for health differences, including individual socio-economic resources, stresses, opportunities and national context. Survey data from the 13-country New Europe Barometer, which spans ten new EU member states, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, show that psychological resources affecting how individuals respond to the combined stresses and opportunities of transformation are of particular importance, and so too is living in a society transformed from part of the communist bloc to part of the European Union.