Cohort A: Currently aged about 25Pathways = the routes followed by Group A to their present positions in society; the circumstances of Group B
Opportunities = educational, training, community involvement and general experience opportunities availed of by the 25 year olds and open to the 16/17 year olds.
Influences = family relationships, community involvement, socio-political attitudes, personality factors such as self esteem.
Associations between the findings and the outcomes of the studies
at age 12 will be explored. The outcomes of their education and
training experiences and the opinions of the subjects on these
matters will be particularly relevant for policy making.
Markers along the pathways would include:
N.B. Confidentiality of responses is being rigorously assured.
2) Community Relations
3) To investigate the extent to which subjects had opportunities
to become aware of political and social issues through reading
the newspaper, watching television etc and to become involved
To determine some of the familial, social political and educational influences which appear to have shaped the direction their lifepaths have taken so far; the outcomes at (1) above will be set against the data existing from the previous studies by the same researcher with the same subjects in the following areas:
* Material prosperity
1. The findings will add to our body of theoretical and practical knowledge about the contribution factors from their past experiences of people's position in life at age 25.
2. It is of particular interest that the lives of the individuals concerned in Belfast have been spent against a background of civil unrest and community conflict and it should be possible to establish to what extent this has been a determining factor for individual outcomes.
3. The individuals in Dublin live in areas of medium to high unemployment with associated social problems and it will be interesting to establish whether the cycle of deprivation is as impenetrable as some people think.
4. On one level it will be possible to identify specific socialisation and educational practices at age 12 which have had particularly constructive or perhaps negative effects for the individuals concerned. There would be implications for intervention and educational policies.
5. On another level we will have immediate impressions of training initiatives (Dublin and Belfast) and of cross-community perceptions (in Belfast) from people on the ground. We can link their past experiences and perhaps identify sources of discontent as well as of satisfaction.
6. On a third level, we can make links between past experiences and current attitudes for members of the three communities age 25.
7. On a fourth level, comparisons will be possible with a North American sample of similar age and samples from European Countries with varying experiences of democracy with whom parts of the same questionnaire are currently being used.
8. It will be possible to see whether factors identified in the earlier studies as differentiating the three groups can be linked with differential outcomes at age 17 and 25.
For example, interest in current affairs at age 12 and involvement in community development or interest in politics and understanding of the social contract at age 17 and 25;
9. Degree of independence, commitment, outreach at age 12 and tolerance towards the other community (for Belfast Cohorts), or community involvement at age 17 and 25.
10. How their view of the future compares with their view of the future aged 12 (when the 1981 children were more pessimistic than the 1992 children and in 1981, the Protestants were more pessimistic than the Catholics, and the Belfast children more pessimistic than the Dublin children) and how the two age groups compare at present.
11. Attitudes towards education, educational achievement, training
opportunities and employment status from age 21-25 for members
of the three communities.
* The findings should give some indication of the effectiveness
of the educational and training programmes in place for the 18-25
* The funding is providing finance for research support for the
project. Ms Jenny Marks in Belfast and Ms Sharon Crowley in Dublin
are working full-time on the project and assisting with tracking
down subjects, with data collection, and with data coding and
analysis. The funding is also covering the costs of printing,
postage, etc and of travel expenses involved in administering
the questionnaires. The project could not have been undertaken
without PSEPII funding.