FSD2075 Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development (JYLS): Interviews of 14-Year-Olds 1974

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  • Pulkkinen, Lea (University of Jyväskylä. Department of Psychology)


academic achievement, adolescents, aggressiveness, alcoholism, child day care, educational sociology, expectation, families, future, hobbies, housing, leisure time, parent-child relationship, parents, personal identity, schools, siblings, smoking, social behaviour

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The data are part of the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development (JYLS), in which the same individuals have been followed over 30 years. At this research stage, 14-year-olds' social behaviour and living circumstances were explored. The research stage also includes peer nominations and teacher ratings (FSD2073), and parent interviews (FSD2074). The interviews of the 14-year-olds included themes such as family, housing and living environment, school, self-image, use of alcohol and drugs, leisure, and hobbies. No predetermined response categories were used. The recorded interviews were classified only afterwards, when it was possible to observe the whole range of responses.

First, the interviewees were asked about their living circumstances, household composition at the moment and in the past, how their day care was arranged in childhood, and whether there had been any maids or domestic workers in the family. The size of the apartment and opinions on the living environment were surveyed.

In relation to school, the interviewees were asked how far from the school they lived, how they travelled to school, whether they usually liked school, and which subject they liked best. The interviewees told whether they had changed school, how they had felt about it, and whether any of their teachers had been close to them. They were also asked to evaluate their own school success and their parents' reactions to it. Some questions covered truancy. Opinions on the parents' attitudes to studying were probed as well. The interviewees were asked whether they usually tell their parents about their school day at home. The 14-year-olds' views on friends, violence, and plans after elementary school were queried, as well as their parents' attitudes to selecting friends, dating, and violence.

The interviewees were asked to describe their mother and father, to tell about their work and health, and to determine how often they discussed various issues. The interviewees' relationship with their parents was also studied. The atmosphere of the family was surveyed by asking whether the 14-year-olds had any shared activities with their parents, whether the family used to eat supper together, and whether the parents were often away from home in the evening. In addition, the interviewees gave their views on how often they had disagreements with their parents, how they were punished for disobedience, and whether their parents knew where and with whom they spent their time. Further questions covered topics such as the interviewees' hobbies, where they got their pocket money from, and whether they had to be at home at a certain time in the evening. Some questions focused on smoking and alcohol use.

In the interviews, information was also collected using the so called mirror technique. The interviewee was asked to imagine being a 65 year old pensioner who is looking back at his/her life, and to tell about his/her family, marriage, and occupation.

The background variables included the respondent's gender.

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