FSD2617 Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development (JYLS): Self-Ratings of 50-Year-Olds 2009

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  • Pulkkinen, Lea (University of Jyväskylä. Department of Psychology)
  • Kinnunen, Marja-Liisa (University of Jyväskylä. Department of Psychology)
  • Kokko, Katja (University of Jyväskylä. Department of Psychology)


aggressiveness, depression, drinking behaviour, emotional states, family life, fatigue (physiology), interpersonal relations, labour and employment, leisure time, life histories, mental health, partnerships (personal), self-esteem, social support, work-life balance, working conditions

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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 40 years. This research stage includes a Life Situation Questionnaire, interviews, personality tests, a life history calendar, a medical examination, laboratory tests and participant self-ratings. The lives of 50-year-olds were studied in terms of family, work, health, leisure and personality traits. This dataset contains the responses to self-rating questionnaires. The questionnaires were either original or modified versions of specific tests and measurements, translated into Finnish.

The questionnaires filled in during the medical examination charted physical symptoms, self-control of emotions, interpersonal relations and traffic behaviour. The respondents were asked about physical symptoms experienced in the previous six months (e.g. headache, dizziness, low back pain). Control of emotions was charted with questions about experiencing, managing and showing them. A number of questions studied the respondent's relations to other people and social support available. Traffic behaviour was investigated by asking when the respondents had gotten their driver's license, how many road traffic accidents they had been involved in etc.

The other questionnaires were filled in during the interview. Three questionnaires studied emotions in terms of accepting, recognising and controlling them. The first one investigated how the respondent was feeling at the moment of answering (e.g. disappointed, happy) and the second how the respondent felt in general (e.g. active, nervous). The next questionnaire covered aggression and the ways of controlling and showing it.

The respondents' feelings of self-worth and self-appreciation were studied using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale. Psychological well-being was examined with 18 statements focusing on autonomy, personal growth, relations with others, purpose in life and self-acceptance. Social well-being was studied with 15 statements. These included, for instance, the respondent's view on how kind people are, whether society has stopped developing and whether they felt that they belonged to a community. Sense of coherence was investigated by asking about, among other things, the desire to change things in life, anger over childhood experiences and satisfaction with the choices made in life.

Alcohol use was investigated with questions about drinking habits, guilt caused by alcohol use, difficulty in stopping drinking etc. Depression was charted by asking whether there had been times when the respondents did not enjoy the things they used to, whether they had felt insignificant and dissatisfied, had trouble sleeping etc. The respondents were asked what leisure time activities (cultural, physical) and hobbies they engaged in. General satisfaction with life was evaluated with five statements (SWLS).

Couple relationships were examined by asking about the consensus between R and the spouse (to what extent they agreed or disagreed on different issues) and R's satisfaction with the relationship. Perceptions on children and parenting were studied by asking the respondents to estimate how well statements relating to the upbringing of their children described them and how well certain statements (e.g. "Acts before she/he thinks") applied to their children. The respondents also estimated how much practical, immaterial and financial aid they gave to their own parents.

Relation to and opinions on work were studied. Questionnaires charted what the respondents did after work, whether they thought about work in their spare time, negative and positive feelings relating to work etc. The final questionnaire examined their work-life balance.

Background variable used: the respondent's gender

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