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Number 9 (3/2002)

ISSP: International Social Survey Programme 2001 and 2002

Friendship, Kinship, Family and Gender Roles

Helena Laaksonen

International Social Survey Programme 2001 and 2002 offer an extensive information package about Finnish kinship and friendship, household work and reconciliation between work and family. The Finnish data of the ISSP 2001 are already available at the FSD. The international data of ISSP 2001 will be available for secondary use next year, likewise the Finnish data of Family, Work and Household Work currently under collection.

Friendships and relationships

ISSP 2001: Social Networks II: Finnish data, collected in the autumn 2001, charted respondents' family network and friendships based on working relationships, living in the same neighbourhood or shared hobbies. The survey studied the extent of family network and how often and in what way respondents keep in contact with their relatives. Kinship and friendships were charted by asking whom would respondents turn to for help in situations of need, and how often they themselves had helped someone else.

For many people the principal support network may not be family, relatives or friends. They prefer the services of the welfare state, third sector or private sector. Some people do not seek any support at all.

Family, work and household work

The focus of this year's survey comes yet closer to home. Its questions deal with family, childcare, gender roles and division of household work. The survey queries whether family responsibilities have got in the way of respondents' progress at work or job prospects. Several questions deal with the division of work between spouses, childcare and gender roles within the family and in the society. Attitudes to marriage, single parents, working mothers and children are studied. The survey charts the degree of happiness, satisfaction with life, work and family life, reconciliation between work and family and the stress caused by work or family responsibilities.

Possibilities for secondary use

Background variables of ISSP 2001 and 2002 enable the analysis of both datasets according to various viewpoints, e.g. family, age, class, division of work or gender. ISSP 2001: Social Networks II: Finnish data has been available at the FSD since last April. It has been used by researchers of sociology, social policy and political science.

Finnish surveys

The Finnish surveys are based on a sample of 2500 persons. The population consists of Finns aged between 15 and 74. The 2001 mail survey had a 57,8 per cent response rate. ISSP questionnaires are annually prepared by the Department of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Tampere, Statistics Finland and FSD. Depending on the themes in question, other researchers may participate in the preparation of national questions. Statistics Finland collects the data.


This chart has been achieved by crosstabulating the variables q38 and q22c, which ask "How happy or unhappy would you say you have been lately" and "How often have you been in contact with your parents-in-law in the last four weeks".

Further information

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