Rural networks may hold key to men's happiness

Honours student Stephanie Kutek

Honours student Stephanie Kutek
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Thursday, 7 May 2009

A new study at the University of Adelaide's School of Psychology will investigate how important social support and community networks are for the happiness of rural men.

Honours student Stephanie Kutek is conducting research on the subjective well-being of rural men in South Australia. She will examine the influences of social support and sense of community on the levels of satisfaction with life that rural men experience.

"Rural men often have poorer health outcomes than both urban men and rural women. The rates of suicide among rural men are of particular concern as these have been steadily increasing over the past 20 years," said Ms Kutek.

"Social support and sense of community have been found to be protective of mental health in rural communities. However with the current challenges facing rural towns, including decreasing populations and economic difficulties, many local services and amenities in rural Australia are being disbanded in areas where local community organisations and sporting groups are already struggling to keep going. These changes have the potential to impact the health and well-being of rural residents."

Ms Kutek is looking for men over the age of 18 and currently living in a rural area to participate in the survey. Participants will be asked to complete a short survey which will take approximately 15 minutes. The survey is available in either hard-copy or online.

"I hope that this study will provide further evidence showing that greater levels of social support and sense of community boost levels of well-being. Hopefully, this will have an impact on the services available to rural men and, in turn, help rural men find more satisfaction with their lives," said Ms Kutek.

Men interested in taking part in the study should contact Stephanie Kutek by phoning 0402 690 905, or emailing or by visiting the website


Contact Details

Ms Stephanie Kutek
Honours student
School of Psychology
The University of Adelaide

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814