Social Cohesion, Ethnicity and Well-Being: Results from an Intervention Study in Kyrgyzstan

When looking at important indicators of well-being, there is extensive evidence that levels of life satisfaction differ between ethnic groups, such that minority groups by and large tend to report lower levels of life satisfaction than majority ethnic groups. A growing body of literature has begun investigating the relationship between an individual’s community and their own levels of life satisfaction. While community deprivation and community ethnic composition are important factors for understanding individual ethnic disparities in life satisfaction, there is a gap in understanding the role of community social cohesion, as well as the effect on change in life satisfaction over time. Using panel survey data from 5.207 adults living in 30 sub-districts of rural Kyrgyzstan, we conduct a multilevel analysis of whether social cohesion serves as a moderator for the relationship between ethnicity and change in life satisfaction. While results do not demonstrate a positive effect of community social cohesion on change in life satisfaction, they do indicate that higher levels of community social cohesion minimize the ethnic group disparities in change in life satisfaction. These findings imply that social cohesion may be one additional piece of the puzzle in understanding ethnic disparities in life satisfaction.

Publication Details

Suggested Citation

Larsen M. M., K. Boehnke, D. Esenaliev and T. Brück (2021). "Social cohesion, ethnicity and well-being: Results from an intervention study in Kyrgyzstan". Cultural-Historical Psychology, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 46-55.


Damir Zoom 08862

Damir Esenaliev

Tilman Zoom

Tilman Brück

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