Iuliia Pavlova1,2, Mariia Roztorhui1, Petro Petrytsa3, Tetiana Melnyk4, Natalia Nalyvayko5, Andrii Ohnystyi3

1Lviv State University of Physical Culture, Lviv, Ukraine
2Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University, Lutsk, Ukraine
3Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatiuk National Pedagogical University, Ternopil, Ukraine
4Kamyanets-Podilskyi Ivan Ohiienko State University, Kamyanets-Podilskyi, Ukraine
5Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine

Well-being and Life Satisfaction of Strength Athletes During War: Role of Individual and Health-Related Determinants

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2023, 12(2), 25-31 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.230904


The research aims to identify the determinants of well-being of youth strength athletes taking into account individual parameters (level of stress, anxiety, depression) and contextual parameters (change of place of residence, change of opportunity to train due to war), differences compared to an older age group. The online study was performed on elite strength athletes (N=172) in Ukraine during Russo-Ukrainian war. In addition to demographic characteristics, the survey included question to sports activity, issues related to hostilities, standardized questionnaires to measure life satisfaction (SWLS), perceived stress level (PSS-10), depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), physical, mental and social functioning (SF-36). Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, correlation analysis to find association between variables, and building linear regression models. Samples of young and adult athletes that we analyzed did not differ in terms of life satisfaction. Among young athletes there were significantly fewer people with symptoms of stress (67%) and anxiety (25.53%). Three groups of factors that determine the life satisfaction of young Ukrainian athletes can be single out: individual (stress, depression), contextual (change of place of residence or training due to the war), and health-based (general perception of one’s own health and pain sensations). The data highlight the critical importance of mental health monitoring for the overall well-being of athletes. The obtained results can be used to rapidly screen persons in the risk group during a war and further develop individual psychotherapeutic programs to overcome trauma and the consequences of war.


life satisfaction, mental health, health-related quality of life, youth, powerlifting

View full article
(PDF – 179KB)


Bessa, C., Hastie, P., Araújo, R., & Mesquita, I. (2019). What do we Know About the Development of Personal and Social Skills within the Sport Education Model: a Systematic Review. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 18(4), 812.

Campbell, E., Irving, R., Bailey, J., Dilworth, L., Abel, W. (2018). Overview of Psychophysiological Stress and the Implications for Junior Athletes. Am. J. Sport. Sci. Med, 6(3), 72–78. https://doi.org/10.12691/ajssm-6-3-2.

Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. J Health Soc Behav, 24(4), 385–396.

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsem, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa4901_13

Dohme, L. C., Piggott, D., Backhouse, S., & Morgan, G. (2019). Psychological Skills and Characteristics Facilitative of Youth Athletes’ Development: A Systematic Review. The Sport Psychologist, 33(4), 261–275. https://doi.org/10.1123/TSP.2018-0014

Eime, R. M., Young, J. A., Harvey, J. T., Charity, M. J., & Payne, W. R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: Informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10(1), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-98/TABLES/2

Jones, A. M., & Carter, H. (2000). The effect of endurance training on parameters of aerobic fitness. Sports Medicine, 29(6), 373–386. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200029060-00001/METRICS

Jurecka, A., Skucińska, P., & Gądek, A. (2021). Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Pandemic on Physical Activity, Mental Health and Quality of Life in Professional Athletes—A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(17), 9423. https://doi.org/10.3390/IJERPH18179423

Kien, C., Sommer, I., Faustmann, A., Gibson, L., Schneider, M., Krczal, E., Jank, R., Klerings, I., Szelag, M., Kerschner, B., Brattström, P., & Gartlehner, G. (2019). Prevalence of mental disorders in young refugees and asylum seekers in European Countries: a systematic review. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 28(10), 1295–1310. https://doi.org/10.1007/S00787-018-1215-Z

Kroenke, K., Spitzer, R. L., & Williams, J. B. W. (2001). The PHQ-9: Validity of a Brief Depression Severity Measure. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16(9), 606. https://doi.org/10.1046/J.1525-1497.2001.016009606.X

Kurapov, A., Pavlenko, V., Drozdov, A., Bezliudna, V., Reznik, A., & Isralowitz, R. (2022). Toward an Understanding of the Russian-Ukrainian War Impact on University Students and Personnel. Journal of Loss and Trauma. https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2022.2084838

Malm, C., Jakobsson, J., & Isaksson, A. (2019). Physical Activity and Sports—Real Health Benefits: A Review with Insight into the Public Health of Sweden. Sports, 7(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/SPORTS7050127

Mehrsafar, A. H., Moghadam Zadeh, A., Gazerani, P., Jaenes Sanchez, J. C., Nejat, M., Rajabian Tabesh, M., & Abolhasani, M. (2021). Mental Health Status, Life Satisfaction, and Mood State of Elite Athletes During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Follow-Up Study in the Phases of Home Confinement, Reopening, and Semi-Lockdown Condition. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.630414

Mesa-Vieira, C., Haas, A. D., Buitrago-Garcia, D., Roa-Diaz, Z. M., Minder, B., Gamba, M., Salvador, D., Gomez, D., Lewis, M., Gonzalez-Jaramillo, W. C., Pahud de Mortanges, A., Buttia, C., Muka, T., Trujillo, N., & Franco, O. H. (2022). Mental health of migrants with pre-migration exposure to armed conflict: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Public Health, 7(5), e469–e481. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(22)00061-5

Michelini, E. (2018). War, migration, resettlement and sport socialization of young athletes: the case of Syrian elite water polo. European Journal for Sport and Society, 15(1), 5–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/16138171.2018.1440949

Newnham, E. A., Kashyap, S., Tearne, J., & Fazel, M. (2018). Child mental health in the context of war: An overview of risk factors and interventions for refugee and war-affected youth. Mental Health of Refugee and Conflict-Affected Populations: Theory, Research and Clinical Practice, 37–63. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97046-2_3/COVER

Ochnik, D., Rogowska, A. M., Kuśnierz, C., Jakubiak, M., Schütz, A., Held, M. J., Arzenšek, A., Benatov, J., Berger, R., Korchagina, E. V., Pavlova, I., Blažková, I., Aslan, I., Çınar, O., & Cuero-Acosta, Y. A. (2021). Mental health prevalence and predictors among university students in nine countries during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-national study. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-97697-3

Pillay, L., Janse van Rensburg, D. C. C., Jansen van Rensburg, A., Ramagole, D. A., Holtzhausen, L., Dijkstra, H. P., & Cronje, T. (2020). Nowhere to hide: The significant impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) measures on elite and semi-elite South African athletes. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 23(7), 670–679. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JSAMS.2020.05.016

Pope, C. C., Penney, D., Smith, T. B. (2018). Reflective Practice International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives Overtraining and the Complexities of Coaches’ Decision-Making: Managing Elite Athletes on the Training Cusp. International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 19(2), 145–166. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2017.1361923

Rice, S. M., Purcell, R., De Silva, S., Mawren, D., Patrick, •, Mcgorry, D., & Parker, A. G. (2016). The Mental Health of Elite Athletes: A Narrative Systematic Review. Orygen Youth Health Clinical Program, 46, 1333–1353. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0492-2

Rogowska, A. M., Ochnik, D., Kuśnierz, C., Jakubiak, M., Schütz, A., Held, M. J., Arzenšek, A., Benatov, J., Berger, R., Korchagina, E. V, Pavlova, I., Blažková, I., Konečná, Z., Aslan, I., Çınar, O., & Cuero-Acosta, Y. A. (2021). Satisfaction with life among university students from nine countries: Cross-national study during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic. BMC Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-12288-1

Rogowska, A. M., Pavlova, I., Kuśnierz, C., Ochnik, D., Bodnar, I., & Petrytsa, P. (2020). Does physical activity matter for the mental health of university students during the COVID‐19 pandemic? Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(11), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113494

Speech of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal at the Government meeting Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2023, from https://www.kmu.gov.ua/news/promova-premier-ministra-ukrainy-denysa-shmyhalia-na-zasidannia-uriadu

Spitzer, R. L., Kroenke, K., Williams, J. B. W., & Löwe, B. (2006). A Brief Measure for Assessing Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The GAD-7. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166(10), 1092–1097. https://doi.org/10.1001/ARCHINTE.166.10.1092

Ware, J. E., & Sherbourne, C. D. (1992). The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) I. Conceptual Framework and Item Selection. Med Care, 30(6), 473-83

Xanthopoulos, M. S., Benton, T., Lewis, J., Case, J. A., & Master, C. L. (2020). Mental Health in the Young Athlete. Current Psychiatry Reports, 22(11), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1007/S11920-020-01185-W/METRICS

Xu, W., Pavlova, I., Chen, X., Petrytsa, P., Graf-Vlachy, L., & Zhang, S. X. (2023). Mental health symptoms and coping strategies among Ukrainians during the Russia-Ukraine war in March 2022. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640221143919