FSD2076 Life Course 1971-2002

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  • Kuusinen, Jorma (University of Jyväskylä. Faculty of Education)


ability, academic ability, academic achievement, career development, educational background, educational choice, employment history, happiness, intelligence, life cycle, life histories, reading skills, social skills, social status, verbal skills


This longitudinal study covered the impact of ability (intelligence), social background and educational achievement on a person's life course (life history). In the early 1970s, the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA) was used to test the verbal intelligence of Finnish children aged 3-9. The test included 12 subtests which measured decoding, processing and encoding of auditory and visual information, and auditory and visual short-term memory.

In the 1980s, data were collected on the research subjects' school achievement and performance, and educational choices after lower secondary education.

A survey conducted in 1991 studied educational and occupational career, housing, couple and family relationships, income, health, hobbies, etc. Further questions covered satisfaction with life and work, happiness, loneliness, life control, whether the subjects felt they had achieved their goals, etc.

In 2002, when the research subjects were approaching middle age, another survey was conducted. Many of the questions presented in 1991 were repeated. Leisure time activities were studied in more detail. New themes included factors influencing people's choices in life, and what brings security or insecurity to life. In addition, register data on the subjects' education and occupation were gathered.

Background variables included, among others, the research subject's year and month of birth, gender, number of siblings, basic and vocational education, occupational status, employer, economic activity, net monthly income, social relationships, number of children, type of accommodation, place of residence, and furthermore the level of education, vocational education, gross annual income, and socioeconomic status of the parents.

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