FSD2525 Finnish Youth Survey Autumn 1997

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  • Advisory Council for Youth Affairs (Nuora)
  • Finnish Youth Research Society. Finnish Youth Research Network


adolescents, alcohol use, attitudes, illegal drugs, information sources, institutions, national identity, political influence, politics, values


The main themes of the Finnish Youth Survey Autumn 1997 were social participation, politics, and power. The young people responding to the survey were also asked about objects or sources of national pride and their notions of drugs and alcohol.

First, the respondents were presented with a few background questions relating for example to their education. They were also asked whether they had influenced decision-makers in society in the past five years or expressed their opinions in different ways (e.g. by participating in a public demonstration, writing a slogan on the wall of a public building, writing a letter to the editor, or by participating in occupying a building/squatting). The respondents were also asked to what extent they approved of the activities of different groups in Finland (e.g. squatters, skinheads, anarchists, and Greenpeace).

The young people were presented with a set of attitudinal statements on Finnish society. The statements probed the respondents' views on the advantageousness of the Finnish EU membership, accepting representatives of other ethnicities as colleagues, and building more nuclear power plants in Finland. In addition, the young people indicated how interested they were in politics.

The influence of social institutions on the respondents' opinions and lives was charted. The respondents were presented with a list of various institutions (e.g. parents, the press, the authorities, friends or acquaintances, and the church or religion) and asked to what extent they had affected the respondents' thoughts and opinions on politics and politicians. They were also asked to name two institutions which they considered to have affected their thoughts and opinions the most. Next, the respondents were presented with a different list of institutions (e.g. the Parliament, civic organisations, banks, educational institutions, and the President) and asked to select two which affect their lives the most through their decisions.

Attitudes towards drug and alcohol abuse were also canvassed. The young people were presented with statements on whether they considered it acceptable to use drugs, whether drug use should be allowed more broadly, and whether punishments for drug use should be reduced. The respondents' own use of drugs and alcohol was investigated. They indicated whether they had smoked cigarettes more often than once in the past six months, drunk a large amount of alcohol, or tried drugs. They were also asked whether someone had tried to sell them drugs in the past six months.

Views on the power of various institutions in society were probed. The respondents were asked how much they thought various institutions, such as political parties, the police, family, or residents'/local associations had power to influence society. In addition, they indicated the most interesting source of information (e.g. the press, the radio, the Internet, books, or CD-ROM).

Finally, the young people were queried about objects or sources of national pride. They were asked to what extent they thought Finns should be proud of various things, such as sports achievements, Finnish social security, art and music, and Finnishness.

Background variables included the respondent's age, gender, municipality of residence, and economic activity.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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