FSD2792 Family Barometer 2008: Well-Being and Social Relationships

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  • Miettinen, Anneli (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)
  • Rotkirch, Anna (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)


childhood, children, families, family environment, family influence, family size, gender role, health, job characteristics, parental role, partnerships (personal)

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The survey studied couple relationships and plans to have children of Finnish adults who had at maximum one child living at home at the time of data collection. Other main themes were job characteristics, characteristics of childhood home, and self-perceived health and well-being.

First, the respondents were asked about their childhood home: number of siblings, education of parents, age of parents when had first child, and other characteristics of the childhood home (e.g. single parent family, financial problems, conflicts, illnesses). One question surveyed the importance of religion to the respondent.

A number of questions focused on the respondent's job, exploring economic activity, type of contract, hours of work, and experiences of unemployment or fixed-term employment. The likelihood of certain changes happening in work or financial situation over the next two years (e.g. unemployment, job change, beginning studies) were charted, as well as R's commitment to work and motivation for working. The survey also investigated the respondents' commitment to family, feelings about family life, and views on gender equality and roles.

Health and well-being were surveyed by asking about self-perceived health, alcohol use, symptoms of stress, anxiety and exhaustion, weight and height, type of contraception used, number of close friends, frequency of contact with parents, feelings of loneliness, satisfaction with life in general and satisfaction with certain aspects of life (e.g. job, income, friendships, family life). Feelings of control over own life and trust in other people were also explored. The respondents were asked to choose from 51 adjectives those that described them well.

The next themes covered family planning and couple relationships. Planned and unplanned pregnancies, miscarriages, abortions, trying to conceive and infertility treatments were investigated. Some questions pertained to first couple relationships, and the number of marriages and cohabitations. Characteristics of, satisfaction with and conflicts in the current relationship were surveyed. Further questions studied the number of children, their years of birth, children from previous relationships, plans to have more children and when, and whether the spouse agreed with these views. The respondents were also asked to think what kind of consequences having children would have on the couple relationship, relationships with parents and friends, meaning of life and career.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, type of the municipality of residence, current couple relationship (marriage, cohabitation, steady relationship and from which year), study field and number of persons in the household, as well as R's and spouse's mother tongue, year of birth, basic and vocational education, economic activity and occupational status, monthly net income, and number of children.

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