FSD1179 Family Barometer 1997: Conceptions of Family

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  • Reuna, Veera (Finnish Family Federation. Population Research Institute)


attitudes, children, families, family environment, family life, marriage, social security benefits, values

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The survey studied Finnish attitudes, values and ideas of family, and the importance of family in Finland. The use and adequacy of various social security benefits were also studied. Married respondents were asked how long they and their spouses have lived together, and why they chose to get married. Co-habiting respondents were asked whether they were planning to get married, and if so, why. Respondents were asked how many children they planned to have, how many children the Finns in general should have, and what would be the ideal age for having the first child. One question focused on what the concept of family means to respondents (e.g. financial security, responsibility, traditions, sense of belonging, being together). Views on what constitutes a family were studied, and also who are counted as family members. Respondents were asked whether certain grounds justified breaking up a family (e.g. problems in sexual life, jealousy, physical violence, alcohol abuse). In addition, respondents were asked how often they keep in touch with relatives, friends and colleagues, and whether they were taking care of a dependant. Respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to family, care of dependants, children, and family life. Satisfaction with certain aspects of life (housing, employment, financial situation, the partnership etc.) were charted.

Expectations for the future were studied by asking respondents what they expected the family's financial situation to be next year, and four year later, and what kind of changes they expected to happen in their life in the near future. Views on the day-care system, social security benefits, and ways to improve the situation of Finnish families were surveyed. Respondents were asked about hereditary diseases in the family, and whether they were worried that their future children might be ill or disabled.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, marital status, basic and vocational education, economic activity, mother tongue, province of residence, type of the municipality of residence, number of persons in the household, household composition, household gross income, social security benefits received by the household, and the number and ages of the children.

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