Hope and Mental Health Among Czech and Polish Adults in a Macrosocial Perspective and Religiosity Context
|Kapitola v knize
|Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
|Czechia and Poland underwent a significant sociopolitical change following the fall of communism in the 1980s. Despite having a lot in common (i.e., culture, language), the two significantly differ in other areas, such as religiosity. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the role of hope in the context of depression and anxiety, positive mental health, and loneliness and to explore age- and religion-related differences between their citizens. The sample consisted of 526 Czech and 481 Polish adults. The 2019 Hope Barometer questionnaire included measures of satisfaction with the past year and expectations for the upcoming year, perceived and dispositional hope, anxiety and depression, positive mental health, and loneliness. All respondents were most satisfied with their personal lives and shared a generally low level of optimism about their national politics. However, significant differences were observed in positive and negative indicators of mental health, where Czechs obtained generally higher positive indicators than Poles. Compared to both older generations, the youngest respondents in both countries reported lower levels of perceived hope, positive mental health, and satisfaction with the climate and environment, and greater loneliness, anxiety, and depression; they also reported more pessimistic expectations for the national economy. However, regardless of cultural background, religious participants showed higher levels of perceived hope. Both samples demonstrated similar patterns in predictors of positive mental health, as found by regression analysis. Perceived hope and dispositional hope positively predicted mental health, while negative emotivity and loneliness predicted mental health negatively. These results are discussed within a broader framework of life experiences on the micro- and macrolevel in the context of Central European countries that recently underwent macrosocial transitions.