Satisfaction with life among university students from nine countries: Cross-national study during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic

Aleksandra M. Rogowska, Dominika Ochnik, Cezary Kuśnierz, Monika Jakubiak, Astrid Schütz, Marco J. Held, Ana Arzenšek, Joy Benatov, Rony Berger, Elena V. Korchagina, Iuliia Pavlova, Ivana Blažková, Zdeňka Konečná, Imran Aslan, Orhan Çınar, Yonni Angel Cuero-Acosta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A cross-sectional study was performed to examine life satisfaction differences between university students from nine countries during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-national comparison of the association between life satisfaction and a set of variables was also conducted. Methods: Participants in the study were 2349 university students with a mean age of 23 years (M = 23.15, SD = 4.66). There was a predominance of women (69.26%) and individuals studying at the bachelor level (78%). The research was conducted between May and July 2020 in nine countries: Slovenia (n=209), the Czech Republic (Czechia)(n=308), Germany (n=267), Poland (n=301), Ukraine (n=310), Russia (n=285), Turkey (n=310), Israel (n=199), and Colombia (n=153). Participants completed an online survey involving measures of satisfaction with life (SWLS), exposure to COVID-19, perceived negative impact of coronavirus (PNIC) on students' well-being, general self-reported health (GSRH), physical activity (PA), and some demographics (gender, place of residence, level of study). A one-way ANOVA was used to explore cross-national differences in life satisfaction. The χ2 independence test was performed separately in each country to examine associations between life satisfaction and other variables. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to identify life satisfaction predictors among a set of demographic and health-related variables in each of the nine countries. Results: The level of life satisfaction varied between university students from the nine countries. The results for life satisfaction and the other variables differed between countries. Numerous associations were noted between satisfaction with life and several variables, and these showed cross-national differences. Distinct predictors of life satisfaction were observed for each country. However, poor self-rated physical health was a predictor of low life satisfaction independent of the country. Conclusions: The association between life satisfaction and subjective assessment of physical health seems to be universal, while the other variables are related to cross-cultural differences. Special public health attention should be focused on psychologically supporting people who do not feel healthy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2262
Pages (from-to)2262
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

© 2021. The Author(s).


  • Cross-national study
  • Exposure to COVID-19
  • Gender differences
  • Perceived negative impact of coronavirus on life
  • Physical activity
  • Satisfaction with life
  • University and college students
  • Pandemics
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Universities
  • COVID-19
  • Young Adult
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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