As a part of the eighteenth wave of the “Ukraine during the war” project, Sociological Group “Rating” conducted another study of psychological markers: the levels of resilience and psychological exhaustion as well as the consumer behavior strategies
SOCIO-ECONOMIC SITUATION OF THE CITIZENS OF UKRAINE
• The share of the respondents who have been forced to leave their places of permanent residence since February 24, 2022, has increased somewhat. The growth is due to the increase in the number of internally displaced persons from the Eastern and Southern regions.
• 85% of the polled express their intention to return home: 21% - soon, 19% - willing to return, but are going to wait, and 45% - will return, but only when the war is over. Only 6% said they will not return home. Compared to July of this year, the share of those who plan to return soon has been increasing, while the share of those who either will return after the war, or will not return at all, has been decreasing.
• The gradual return of the citizens to their workplaces continues. Currently, 38% of those who had worked before the war have returned to their regular job places, while 18% are working remotely, and 7% have found a new job. Despite this, one-third of such respondents are still not employed. Most of the latter are among the youngest and the oldest respondents, as well as among women and residents of the East of the country. This survey for the first time recorded positive trends in returning to work among residents of the South and East. At the same time, it should be kept in mind that regional identification is made according to the place of residence until February 24, 2022.
LEVEL OF RESILIENCE
• During the eighth month of the war, Ukrainians continue to demonstrate a good level of resilience (3.9 points out of 5). The components of this indicator: psychological resilience (3.9) and maintaining physical health (3.7) – has not changed significantly as compared to June.
• Curiosity about what is happening around (4.5), plans for the future (4.2), normal nutrition (4.2), absence of regrets about the past (4.1), and confidence in one's decisions (4.0) primarily contribute to the relatively high index of psychological resilience.
• These days, Ukrainians suffer most from fatigue (only 34% do not feel it) and lack of good sleep (only 47% have good sleep). Such reactions of the body are natural for stress and at the same time quite exhausting. Despite this, other emotional and moral indicators of citizens are better.
• Since April, there has been a decrease in indicators of normal nutrition, while at the same time, indicators of good sleep have been increasing. And this allows to keep a relative balance of physical health support.
• Women have a lower level of resilience than men. A relatively lower level of resilience has been recorded within the youngest and oldest age groups. The availability of work has a positive effect on resilience: those who work full-time or part-time feel better than those who do not work, because work (employment, team) and salary cover the basic need for security and belonging to the community. Also, a higher level of resilience is observed among those who have relatives who currently bear arms.
• In the regional terms, this survey has revealed no significant differences in terms of the integral indicator. At the same time, there is a significant gap between the index of physical health (relatively lower level) and psychological stability (relatively higher level) among the residents of the South.
• For all groups of the polled, psychological resilience (3.9) is higher than the indicators of physical condition (3.7). Similarly, like in the previous study, the hypothesis is proven: the war has physically exhausted Ukrainians to a bigger extent, while psychological endurance still remains better.
• The dynamics of the resilience index has somewhat improved. Eight months of war but Ukrainians still have enough physical and moral strength to live in tough circumstances, to work, to help, and to fight.
LEVEL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL EXHAUSTION
• The dynamics of research of the emotional states for the period from March till October, 2022 reveals that the changes in day-to-day assessment of one’s emotional stress are still insignificant. The peak of stress was observed at the beginning of April 2022 (3.5), while in June there has been a gradual decrease of the stress (3.3), and in October it has remained at that exact level (3.3).
• 24% of Ukrainians feel calm and very calm. 40% feel tense and very tense, and this is a relatively low indicator as for wartime. Tension increases with age, probably due to narrowing opportunities to take care of oneself, as well as material and other resources. Also, tension is more common for women (probably due to their higher sensitivity and need to take care not only of themselves, but also of their children) and for those who have changed their place of residence, - the need to adapt to a new place, situation of uncertainty, change in the usual living conditions significantly increase stress.
• The index of psychological exhaustion is still quite moderate (2.0). Considering dynamics, it has not changed from April to October 2022, except for the indicator of trust in people (it has decreased). The share of those who believe that people cannot be trusted and of those who think that something bad may happen has increased. The latter trend is probably related to the news about the destruction and the dead, and the realization that there are few left who were not at least indirectly affected by it.
• The index of psychological exhaustion is mainly “warranted” by mistrust of people (2.7) and sad mood (2.6). However, Ukrainians still do not feel “dead” inside (1.6) and can rely on themselves (1.4). Also, the majority do not feel weak, and the surrounding world is not perceived as hostile and dangerous. Since April, there has been a decrease in indicators of "sad" mood; at the same time, there has been an increase in mistrust of others and despair in the ability to rely on oneself.
• Those youngest and oldest respondents, women, residents of the East and West, those who are not working or are retired, those who have changed their place of residence, as well as those who have relatives currently bearing arms feel the most exhausted.
• Monitoring of emotional states, level of resilience and psychological exhaustion from March to October 2022 has revealed that, in general, Ukrainians were able to maintain and stabilize their psychological and emotional state, acquire sufficient competence in overcoming stressful events of war life. Those younger and older people, women, and those who have lost their jobs remain the risk groups.
CONSUMER BEHAVIOR STRATEGIES
• Most often, respondents make decisions about buying products and goods based on the compatibility of price and quality (42%). 29% are guided by the fact that they regularly buy the same goods (regular consumption strategy) or because of the opportunity to buy them cheaper (cost minimization strategy). 20% buy because the purchase brings pleasure (hedonists), 13% buy the best quality goods (perfectionists). Only 4% buy products impulsively (impulsive consumption strategy), 2% - because the product is new (novelties consumption). Compatibility of price and quality and regularity of purchase are more likely for the younger and middle-aged generation, who are guided by a rational approach to spending. Buying because of a lower price is more likely for older people, since they often have lower incomes and are forced to save. Young people are also relatively more likely to buy either because it brings pleasure or guided by the quality indicator - it corresponds to the values of the younger generation, who are more hedonistic and perfectionist. Regularity and the "cheapness" motive prevail among women; compatibility of price and quality, especially better quality - among men. Thus, women have more rational strategies, while men have more emotional strategies (although women are usually seen as oriented on emotions, but women usually have lower incomes as compared to men).
• The results of the cluster analysis of the consumer behavior strategies made it possible to divide consumers into the following groups: hedonists (38%), rationalists (24%), traditionalists (21%), and thrifty (19%). "Hedonists" - choose goods of the best quality, buy something based on the compatibility of price and quality and something that brings pleasure; prevail among young people, men, and those who have job (respectively, higher incomes). "Rationalists"- buy cheaper and when there is a good "price-quality" ratio; more of them are among representatives of the middle-aged generation, men, those who have job, as well as retirees. "Traditionalists" - buy the same goods in the "price - quality" ratio; more of them are among young people and those who work. "Thrifty" - buy cheaper and the same things; more of them are among the elderly, women (more of them among the oldest category), unemployed, and retired. In general, these are worthy, adequate strategies of developed societies with good economic indicators.
Audience: the population of Ukraine aged 18 and older in all regions, except for the temporarily occupied territories of the Crimea and Donbas, as well as the territories where there was no Ukrainian mobile connection at the time of the survey. The results are weighted using the current data from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. The sample is representative in terms of age, gender and type of settlement.
Sample population: 1000 respondents. Survey method: CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews). The margin of error of the study with the confidence interval of 0.95 does not exceed 3.1%. Dates: October 8-9, 2022.
For comments on the results of this study, please contact Professor Marianna Tkalych, Director of the Rating Lab research laboratory, Doctor of Psychological Sciences. Tel.: +38 (050) 322-09-25 (WhatsApp, Signal), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org