PSYCHOSOCIAL PATHS TO EXCLUSION: The regional and temporal variations in two birth cohorts of 1966 and 1986

This study is a part of professor Mika Gissler's SALVE-consortium "Life-course Determinants of Mental Health, Marginalisation, and Social Coping - Interdisciplinary Perspectives of Risk and Protective Factors in Five Birth Cohorts". Academy of Finland has funded the study from 2009 to 2012.

This study is part of the project “Well-being and Health: Research in the Northern Finland Birth Cohorts 1966 and 1986 in the institute of Health Sciences at the University of Oulu.
In regional comparisons, Northern Finland stands out as an area with elevated levels of adverse health and socioeconomic outcomes. For example the rates of mortality and morbidity, violent crime, and labour market marginalization are higher than in other regions of Finland. This basic observation constitutes the starting point for our research. Our goal is to shed light to the psychosocial mechanisms that mediate the processes of social exclusion in this population. As a result, our research is designed to generate a number of significant findings for the international literature in several areas of population research, including public health, sociology, psychiatry, criminology, and psychology.

The material of this study project consists of two population cohorts collected in the provinces of Oulu and Lapland 20 years apart: the older one is from the year 1966 (n=12,058 live-born), while the younger one includes parturients whose calculated term fell between 1 July 1985 and 30 June 1986 (n=9,432 live-born). The Cohorts are unique because data has been collected about both cohorts prospectively since the 6th month of pregnancy by questionnaires, from hospital records and various registers and databases, as well as by interviews and clinical examinations, in the older cohort since pregnancy, at birth, at age 1 and 14 years, and the last one at the of age 31 in 1997. In the younger cohort information has been collected similarly since pregnancy, at birth, at 7 and 8 years and at the age of 15-16 years. The last follow-up was started in 2001 and completed in 2002. Both cohorts have in particular rich data on individuals’ social well-being (life course, development, health, education, lifestyles) from as early on as early pregnancy.

The aim of the study
The aim of this study project is to analyse social exclusion, differences in health and well-being, accessibility to social benefits and services, and especially regional and temporal variations in these parameters in the Northern Finland Birth Cohorts of 1966 and 1986 (NFBC 1966 and NFBC 1986). From the viewpoint of an individual cohort member, the dimensions of social exclusion are exclusion from production (labour market), consumption (level of income) and social community (networks). The role of an individual’s health and well-being in the social exclusion process will be studied by assessing the pathways since pregnancy through childhood to adulthood. The operationalisation of exclusion is based on theoretical definitions of exclusion, theories of well-being, previous studies on related fields and the data available.

We want to investigate the living conditions and psychosocial health resources of people living in Northern Finland in order to find factors by which we could promote the well-being and prevent the deteriorated life trajectory of individuals as early as possible.

Research team


Last updated: 31.10.2018