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Psychological well-being in Europe after the outbreak of war in Ukraine

Scharbert, Julian; Humberg, Sarah; Kroencke, Lara; Reiter, Thomas; Sakel, Sophia; ter Horst, Julian; Utesch, Katharina; Gosling, Samuel D.; Harari, Gabriella; Matz, Sandra C.; Schoedel, Ramona; Stachl, Clemens; Aguilar, Natalia M. A.; Amante, Dayana; Aquino, Sibele D.; Bastias, Franco; Bornamanesh, Alireza; Bracegirdle, Chloe; Campos, Luís A. M.; Chauvin, Bruno; Coetzee, Nicoleen; Dorfman, Anna; dos Santos, Monika; El-Haddad, Rita W.; Fajkowska, Malgorzata; Göncü-Köse, Asli; Gnisci, Augusto; Hadjisolomou, Stavros; Hale, William W.; Katzir, Maayan; Khechuashvili, Lili; Kirchner-Häusler, Alexander; Kotzur, Patrick F.; Kritzler, Sarah; Lu, Jackson G.; Machado, Gustavo D. S.; Martskvishvili, Khatuna; Mottola, Francesca; Obschonka, Martin; Paolini, Stefania; Perugini, Marco; Rohmer, Odile; Saeedian, Yasser; Sergi, Ida; Shani, Maor; Skimina, Ewa; Smillie, Luke D.; Talaifar, Sanaz; Talhelm, Thomas; Tokat, Tülüce; Torres, Ana; Torres, Claudio V.; Van Assche, Jasper; Wei, Liuqing; Yalçın, Aslı;...

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Julian Scharbert

Sarah Humberg

Lara Kroencke

Thomas Reiter

Sophia Sakel

Julian ter Horst

Katharina Utesch

Samuel D. Gosling

Gabriella Harari

Sandra C. Matz

Ramona Schoedel

Clemens Stachl

Natalia M. A. Aguilar

Dayana Amante

Sibele D. Aquino

Franco Bastias

Alireza Bornamanesh

Chloe Bracegirdle

Luís A. M. Campos

Bruno Chauvin

Nicoleen Coetzee

Anna Dorfman

Monika dos Santos

Rita W. El-Haddad

Malgorzata Fajkowska

Asli Göncü-Köse

Augusto Gnisci

Stavros Hadjisolomou

William W. Hale

Maayan Katzir

Lili Khechuashvili

Alexander Kirchner-Häusler

Sarah Kritzler

Jackson G. Lu

Gustavo D. S. Machado

Khatuna Martskvishvili

Francesca Mottola

Martin Obschonka

Marco Perugini

Odile Rohmer

Yasser Saeedian

Ida Sergi

Maor Shani

Ewa Skimina

Luke D. Smillie

Sanaz Talaifar

Thomas Talhelm

Tülüce Tokat

Ana Torres

Claudio V. Torres

Jasper Van Assche

Liuqing Wei

Aslı Yalçın

Maarten van Zalk

Markus Bühner

Mitja D. Back


The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, has had devastating effects on the Ukrainian population and the global economy, environment, and political order. However, little is known about the psychological states surrounding the outbreak of war, particularly the mental well-being of individuals outside Ukraine. Here, we present a longitudinal experience-sampling study of a convenience sample from 17 European countries (total participants = 1,341, total assessments = 44,894, countries with >100 participants = 5) that allows us to track well-being levels across countries during the weeks surrounding the outbreak of war. Our data show a significant decline in well-being on the day of the Russian invasion. Recovery over the following weeks was associated with an individual’s personality but was not statistically significantly associated with their age, gender, subjective social status, and political orientation. In general, well-being was lower on days when the war was more salient on social media. Our results demonstrate the need to consider the psychological implications of the Russo-Ukrainian war next to its humanitarian, economic, and ecological consequences.


Scharbert, J., Humberg, S., Kroencke, L., Reiter, T., Sakel, S., ter Horst, J., …Back, M. D. (2024). Psychological well-being in Europe after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Nature Communications, 15(1), Article 1202.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 21, 2023
Online Publication Date Feb 20, 2024
Publication Date Feb 20, 2024
Deposit Date Mar 11, 2024
Publicly Available Date Mar 11, 2024
Journal Nature Communications
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 1
Article Number 1202
Public URL


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