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ETF - Cohort-sequential longitudinal databases Evaluation through follow-up


THE COHORTS BORN IN 1953 (cohort 2)

The second data collection conducted by ISP started in the spring term of 1966. The
1953 cohort consists of those born on the 5th, 15th or 25th of any month in 1953. In
the same way as for the 1948 cohort, when the collection of the data commenced, the
majority of pupils were in grade 6, (for the academic year 1965/66). Due to a
demographic decrease for this age group, the number of pupils involved in the 1966
data collection is 10 723. At the time of the data collection about 80 per cent of the
pupils attended the newly introduced nine-year “basic” or comprehensive school, while
only 20 per cent still went to the old type of school, that is to say, the public elementary
As previously, the data held in the register are of two types: 1) administrative data and 2)
self-reported data.

1. Administrative data.

Administrative data for those born in 1953 were collected in
the spring term of 1966 by Statistics Sweden. The collected data are of the same
type as those collected for the 1948 cohort.
Annual data. Annual data (school-year-data) on the pupils’ subsequent school
education have also been collected by Statistics Sweden for the years after
1965/66 for the 1953 cohort, but only up to the end of 1973/74. The amount
of collected data is less, however. For instance, no particulars on the number of
siblings in the household and the distance travelled by the pupil between home
and school are available for this pupil cohort.

2. Self-reported data.

Self-reported data for those born in 1953 were collected in the
spring term of 1966 by the Department of Education, University of Göteborg.
In the same way as for the 1948 cohort, the collected data include information
on the results of three aptitude tests and the national standardised achievement
school tests, as well as responses to a pupil questionnaire.

Questionnaire data from pupils in grade 6.

The questionnaire given to the 1953 cohort     
is quite different from the one used in 1961. Because of the school reforms
underway at the time of the data collection and changes that took place in the
Swedish society generally, some groups of questions given to the 1948 cohort in
the 1961 data collection had to be revised before the questionnaire could be
used in the data collection involving those born in 1953. Other questions were
omitted for the same reasons. In addition, analyses on the internal consistency
of the questionnaire revealed that some questions were too difficult for this age
group or had a low reliability rating and thus also had to be omitted. Given
these changes, data on the following areas were obtained:


Thirty questions focusing on the pupils’ situation in school. The responses
options for these items are either “yes” or “no”. Responses reflecting a good
school adaptation – seen from a pupil perspective – have been given one point.
By summing up the points, three scales could be discerned. These scales relate
to pupils’ motivation to learn in school (10 questions), school adaptation (10
questions) and parents’ attitudes towards higher education (10 questions). These
questions are essentially the same as those used in 1961.

Plans and choices

Four out of a total of seven questions concern the pupils’ educational and
occupational plans. Two of them cover the pupils’ choice of a future educational
path and two their wishes as regards future occupation. As mentioned
previously, in 1962 the experimental school was converted into a more definitive
nine-year “basic school”, which, by 1972 had been introduced into all school
districts. However, as early as the middle of the 1960’s, most school districts had
already introduced this new “comprehensive school” (“grundskolan”). As a
consequence, the number of pupils attending this type of school increased from
less than 40 per cent in the 1961 sample to more than 80 per cent in the 1966
sample. For this reason, some of the existing questions concerning educational
plans have been modified, while others were omitted from the data collection in
1966. Three new questions concerning parents’ education, fathers’ occupation
and how the pupils have acquired information about the occupation they would
like to have in the future, were added to the questionnaire.

Leisure activities

Eight questions in the pupil questionnaire concern the pupils’ spare time
interests or leisure activities. In the same way as before, pupils were asked to
respond to questions such as “How often do you watch TV?” or “How many
books do you read?” etc. The leisure activity questions in this questionnaire
differ somewhat from the questions given to the 1948 cohort. For instance, the
number of questions has been reduced to 8. At the same time, a new question:
“With whom do you spend most of your time" (e.g. boys, girls, adults or alone)
was included. Three questions about reading, going to the movies and relations
with peers remained unchanged.
Fifty questions focused on the pupils’ attitudes to five different activity domains
(outdoor life, communication, technical, domestic and administrative). The
content of this group of questions is exactly the same as in the previous
questionnaire. However, the data collection in 1966 didn’t comprise the social
activity domain. Thus, the number of questions has therefore been reduced
from 60 to 50. A more fundamental modification, however, concerns the scale,
which for this group of questions, has been changed from two to four options
(“++”, “+”, “-“ and “- -“). The mark ++ indicates the activities that pupils’ are
most interested in engaging in within each activity area, while - - indicates the
opposite. As a consequence of this, the score for each activity area varies
between 10 and 50.

National standardised achievement tests.

Of those born in 1953, only pupils in grade 6
attending public elementary and comprehensive schools, took part in the
national standardised tests (i.e. Swedish, reading, writing, arithmetic and
English). At comprehensive schools, a test in Swedish was given while at public
elementary schools two tests, one in reading and one in writing, were given. For
these types of schools the missing data is about 11 per cent.
Due a lack of financial resources, administrative data and annual data are only available
for 93 per cent or 9 927 of those born on any of the selected dates in 1953. Moreover,
questionnaire data and scores on the three aptitude tests are only available for 88 per
cent or 9 434 pupils, while scores on the national standardised achievement tests are
only available for 85 per cent or 8 228 of those who in the spring term of 1966 attended
grade 6.




Michael Hansen
+46 (0)31 786 2165

Contact Information

Department of Education and Special Education

PO Box 300, SE 405 30 Gothenburg

Visiting Address:
Pedagogen Hus A, Västra Hamngatan 25

+46 (0)31 786 0000

Page Manager: Åsa Berndtsson & Bo Nielsen|Last update: 1/31/2017

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