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Lajos Huse & Peter Takacs (ed.) (2015): Quality of Life Nyiregyhaza District 2015. Acta Medicinae et Sociologica Vol. 6. No. 18-19. The University of Debrecen Health Faculty, Nyiregyhaza.
Reviewed by Fruzsina Szigeti[1] & Nora Barnucz[2]
The study volume - entitled Quality of Life Nyiregyhaza District 2015 - was published by the Health Faculty at the University of Debrecen with ISSN 2062-0284. It can be available on this website as an e-volume publishing periodically in the archive of the National Szechenyi Library. Its editors are Lajos Huse, the associate professor of Social Work Department at the University of Debrecen and Peter Takacs, the associate professor of the Health Informatics Department at the University of Debrecen. Several professional experts were taken part in the preparation of this volume paying the reader’s attention and his/her interest so that he/she can think about the content of it.
The book involves the results of empirical research regarding Nyiregyhaza and its catchment area (Nyiregyhaza District). The research of Nyiregyhaza District as a region is important because it is situated in the North-Great Plain region, in Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg County. According to most of the indicators – the rate of activity, the level of employment, the amount of gross and net average wage, the proportion of disadvantaged children, etc. – the North-Great Plain region is involved in the less-favoured areas and Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg County has the least favoured conditions of all. The starting point of life quality research was constituted by the Quality of Life in Nyiregyhaza research series, which was carried by the workers of the Social and Public Education Department of the Nyiregyhaza Municipality Office and the Applied Social Science Department of Health Faculty at the University of Debrecen. The panel research started in 2008 and it provides the opportunity to map and quantify the quality of life of the adult population, plus analyse, present and explain the changes during the part of the period between the data collections.
In 2015 – with the consortium of the two institutions mentioned before – Quality of Life Nyiregyhaza District research was implemented, which comprises 13 settlements of Nyiregyhaza District: Apagy, Kalmanhaza, Kotaj, Nagycserkesz, Napkor, Nyiregyhaza, Nyirpazony, Nyirtelek, Nyirtura, Rakamaz, Senyo, Timar es Ujfeherto.
The book helps the reader to get information about the social level research of people’s quality of life living in Nyiregyhaza District, which contains the survey of objective and subjective factors as well in a complex manner. On that basis, the issues of the twelve studies are based on three thematically different groups:
1) Social structures and their effects (mobility, fragmentation);
2) The basic dimensions of the local society (housing, relationships);
3) Human needs (social needs, health status, emotional wellbeing, cultural consumption).
The studies of Eva Huszti, Maria Malakuczine Poka, Anita R. Fedor & Erzsebet Balogh, Gergely Fabian & Peter Takacs & Fruzsina Szigeti, Laszlo Patyan and Eva Panna Szilicsany belong to the first thematic group. The second group contains the studies of Katalin Szoboszlai, Eva Huszti and Peter Takacs & Gergely Fabian & Fruzsina Szigeti. The third group is based on the studies of Lajos Huse, Fruzsina Szigeti & Gergely Fabian & Peter Takacs, Anita Krizsai & Ildiko Tothne Csatlos.
The foreword of Eva Huszti’s study provides an opportunity for the reader to foster the language of the book and get information about the main socio-demographic factors (gender, education level, marital status) of the society living in Nyiregyhaza District.
Maria Malakuczine Poka’s study - namely ‘Settlement Structure, Demographic and Household Characteristics of Nyiregyhaza District’ – gives a detailed explanation of the structural features of the areas in Nyiregyhaza District, the age composition of the community, the structures of marital status, the status of education level, the presence of other nations and their regional origin.
Anita R. Fedor’s and Erzsebet Balogh’s study - entitled ‘Employment and Unemployment in Nyiregyhaza District’ - helps the reader reveal answers for some questions: what the labour market situation is like in Nyiregyhaza District (employment or unemployment) and how all things are coherent with the European Union tendencies.
Gergely Fabian and Fruzsina Szigeti are the authors of the study called ‘Income Situation and Income Poverty’. They research the incomes and their differences generated in the households of Nyiregyhaza and in Nyiregyhaza District. The conclusion of their studies is that high differences can be perceived between the county seat and the settlements of the district. On that basis, it can be sensitive to set out such local or regional programmes which can improve the inhabitants’ social-economic situation.
Laszlo Patyan attempts in his study - entitled ‘Elderly People’s Living Condition in Nyiregyhaza District’ - to introduce the characteristics, the education level, the objective and subjective factors of pension, the real and experienced quality of health status, the network of relationship and the housing circumstances of people over 65 living in Nyiregyhaza District.
The main conclusion of Eva Panna Szilicsany’s study - called ‘Living Difficulties and Deprivation in Nyiregyhaza District in 2015’ - is based on that the proportion of people living in poverty in Nyiregyhaza District and living with the risk of social exclusion along the crucial material deprivation is likely to be higher than the Hungarian average. Furthermore, worse conditions are explored regarding the settlements of the district. The main pillar of her research is to study this hypothesis.
Katalin Szoboszlai analyses the data concerning the housing from the beginning of the life quality research in Nyiregyhaza (from 2008) to the present time. The title of her study is ‘Housing Situations both in Nyiregyhaza District and Nyiregyhaza County Town’. The author uses two databases: the housing statistics data for 2013 of the Central Statistical Office and the housing poverty data of the life quality research in Nyiregyhaza 2015. It can be stated that it is necessary to prepare such a local housing plan, and the local government is willing to focus on modernization, affordability and recovery of the empty housing stocks.
The title of Eva Huszti’s study is ‘Tell me who you spend your free time with and I will tell you who you are. The Functioning and Some Characteristics of Contact Networks Providing Social Support’. She studies the social networking with empirical devices along the following dimensions: quantity and quality side of friendships; social support in family and non-family relationship; the frequency of keeping touch with family members, friends, neighbours; the frequency of taking part in social life and private gatherings.
‘The Latest Outcomes of Nyiregyhaza Household Panel Life Quality Model Survey and the Possibilities of Life Quality Model Enlargement by Applying the Rough Set Theory’ has been written by Peter Takacs, Gergely Fabian and Fruzsina Szigeti. This study focuses on the results of the first empirical procedures to improve the whole Rahman-model.
‘Factors of Subjective Health and their Changes in Nyiregyhaza and its Agglomeration’ was written by Lajos Huse. It explains what kind of factors – gender, age, education level, marital status, congenital or acquired illness(es), social capital, or emotional wellbeing – have effects on the subjective health status of the population in Nyiregyhaza.
‘Measuring Emotional Well-being in Nyiregyhaza District’ has been written by Fruzsina Szigeti, Gergely Fabian and Peter Takacs. The purpose of their empirical research is to study the value of satisfaction as a personal index in Nyiregyhaza and its nearest settlements: Their research question is whether socio-cultural background has effects on the value of happiness, or on the assessment of statements concerning the factors of happiness. Moreover, their purpose is also to reply that question if there is a significant difference between the subjective wellbeing and its most important conditions of the population living in Nyiregyhaza and the settlements of Nyiregyhaza District.
Anita Krizsai and Ildiko Tothne Csatlos – ‘Social Problems and Changes in the Benefit System in Nyiregyhaza District’ - try to study the cooperation conditions characterizing the social services. Based on the results the population of the smaller settlements continues insisting on their contact person, they ask for some help and make complaints to him/them. The change of the most deprived persons’ condition depends on how the local governments react on the local problems.
In conclusion, the volume contains so many diversified articles that the reader can get information from several different aspects of Nyiregyhaza and its settlements. According to the reviewer it is worth paying attention to the results of the studies in the city development strategies and conceptions, because the profile of the satisfied citizen and the liveable region can be reached if the professional-political measures are implemented by taking into account the opinions and demands of citizens.
[1] University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary, Email address:
[2] University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary, Email address: