UNIT OF FAMILY AND WELFARE STUDIES

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TARTU

INFORMATION OF ACTIVITIES

THE UNIT OF FAMILY AND WELFARE STUDIES


The Family Research Group at the University of Tartu was founded in the autumn of 1968. At first, the group was set up from seven to eleven lecturers from the different departments of the University as volunteers. On September 1983 by the decree of the Rector, the Unit of Family and Welfare Studies was founded on the basis of the research group. Since June 1995 the Unit belongs to the Faculty of Social Sciences (Department of Sociology). At present the staff of the unit consists of three persons:

The main area of activities of the Unit of Family Studies is research. In the period of 1968-1989 the basic research interest was oriented to the questions of family psychology: quality and stability of the marriage, process of family functioning, etc. The research was based on extensive longitudinal and comparative surveys. The research projects of the last decade concentrate on the issues of welfare and well-being, social and family policy, poverty and marginalisation in the framework of societal transformation. Results and outcomes of the studies are presented on several outstanding scientific forums: ISA World Congresses of Sociology (1990 Madrid, 1994 Bielefeld, 1998 Montreal), European Congresses of Psychology (1993 Tampere, 1995 Athens), World Congress of Family Therapy (1991 Jyväskylä), ICSW World Conferences (1994 Tampere, 1996 Hong Kong), etc.

The Unit's research projects have been funded mainly by the Estonian Science Foundation and Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia, and have involved surveys, case studies and interviews. The Unit has recently completed a major project on the Elaboration of the National Strategy for Poverty Eradication (1997-99) funded by the United Nations Development Programme, and a comparative research project on pension reform funded under the Phare ACE Programme. Currently the Unit is participating in a comparative research project on living conditions in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (NORBALT II), initiated by the Institute of Applied Social Research (FAFO) in Oslo and Estonian Statistical Office and also in a comparative research project "Improving Policy Responses and Outcomes to Socio-Economic Challenges: changing family structures, policy and practice" (IPROSEC) coordinated by the Institute of European Studies at the University of Loughborough and funded by the EC FP5.

Beside the academic research the staff of the unit deals with applied social analysis and methodological consultations. The activities in this field include elaboration of questionnaires, consulting and processing data analysis, elaboration of models for social political decision-making, etc.

Teaching has been relevant function of the unit since its formation. Teaching can be divided into two parts: lecture courses and supervision of term papers, barchelors', master's and Ph.D. theses. The part of the offered courses is based on the results from research projects developed by the unit.

RESEARCH PROJECTS IN 1993-2000


  1. INFLUENCE OF MULTIPLE SOCIETAL CHANGE ON ECONOMIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING OF HOUSEHOLDS IN ESTONIA

This umbrella project includes several surveys about social transition from planned to market economy and from totalitarian to a democratic society in Estonia and how it affects the everyday life of people.

1.1. "Analysis of poverty trends in Estonia. The purpose of the study is to reveal the patterns of poverty in dynamics in a transforming society. The study applies income and consumption as main characteristics of economic management of households. Several methods for setting poverty lines and poverty measures are applied. The research project is based on data from the Estonian Household-Income and Expenditure Survey carried out monthly (since 1991) by the Estonian Statistics Authority and Estonian Market and Opinion Research Centre "EMOR Ltd". The study has been granted by the Estonian Science Foundation in 1992-96.

PUBLICATIONS: 1, 3, 7, 12, 20.

1.2. "Social stress and coping of adult household members." The survey is aimed at analysis of adaptation and coping process with social stress and psychological well-being as an outcome. The hypothesised model of social stress and coping of Lazarus and Folkman (1984) and Borden (1991) is applied as a frame of reference of the investigation. 809 adult respondents from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey" were involved in the survey in April/May 1993. The investigation was granted by the Estonian Science Foundation and the Round Table of The President's Chancellery in 1993-94.

PUBLICATIONS: 4, 7, 8, 11.

1.3. "Transitions in social cognition: the case of post-socialist Estonia" is an original interdisciplinary study conducted by the researchers of the Unit of Family and Welfare Studies and the Department of Psychology of the University of Tartu. The study is focused on investigation of social perception of a transforming society by different focus groups. For this purpose representatives of high politicians, bank officials, journalists, lecturers of universities, teachers, semiskilled workers, social welfare clientele and prisoners (100 respondents from the each group) are questioned. The investigation is granted by the Estonian Science Foundation in 1994-95.

PUBLICATIONS: 21.

2. LIVING CONDITIONS IN ESTONIA (NORBALT-PROJECT I AND II)

This large project which involves 5000 respondents is carried out in co-operation with the Estonian Statistics Authority, Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia, Statistical Offices of Latvia and Lithuania and the Institute of Applied Social Research of the FAFO (Norway). The investigation is methodologically based on Scandinavian level of living approach and gives information about different sectors of life of people living in a transforming society. The study is financed from the state budget and by the FAFO donors in 1993-96 and 1998-2001. The next stage of the project is focused on comparative analysis of living conditions in three neighbouring Baltic Countries. By now the NORBALT II (survey carried out in 1999) has passed the primary statistical analysis

PUBLICATIONS: 14, 15, 23, 39, 50.

3. SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE BALTIC AND NORDIC COUNTRIES

The main purpose of this umbrella project is to study the social impact of the economic and political changes that have taken place in the Baltic states, Finland and Sweden 1988 onwards. Data sources are comparable survey data (1993-94), household interviews (1994), expert interviews (1994-95) and case studies of firms and farms (1994-95). The project is co-ordinated by the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Tampere, Finland and funded by the Nordic Social Science Research Council. In 1996 the national reports for each of the Baltic countries was published.

PUBLICATIONS: 17, 21.

4. PEOPLE BEYOND THE MARGINS: EXPANSION OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION AND MARGINALISATION

This research project is aimed at analysis of involuntary outsiders of life, e.g. the clientele of social welfare agencies, unemployed and unemployable with low income. The problems of maladaptation, psychological alienation and social marginalisation reflecting social transition and reconstruction of the society are taken in focus. The project is granted by the Estonian Science Foundation in 1995-96 and European Training Foundation in 1999-2000.

PUBLICATIONS: 12, 18, 19, 23, 27, 28, 37.

5. SOCIAL COHESION, IMPACTING FACTORS AND RE-INTEGRATION OF THE ESTONIAN SOCIETY

The current project is aimed at analysis of social cohesion, impacting factors, risks as well as resources for further re-integration processes in Estonia. In the frames of the project, theoretical framework of social integration is elaborated, expert interviews are carried out as well as public discussions initiated covering topics of social cohesion and sustainable human development. The methodological and empirical outcomes of the project challenge to find new ways of inclusion of the excluded, impairment of their functional skills and growth of social cohesion of Estonian society in long run. The project is granted by the Estonian Science Foundation in 1998-1999.

PUBLICATIONS: 29,30, 31, 47, 54, .

6. FAMILY POLICY IN THE CONDITIONS OF SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION

This project started in 1989 and has been aimed to elaboration of the new family policy measures. As a result, new transfers and benefits for children, women and families have been introduced. The changed political situation, diminishing resources, changes in the labour market, etc. have actualised the need for revision of the Estonian family policy. The researchers of the Unit of Family Studies have elaborated the new principles for the family policy and are involved as consultants in the Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia. The project was granted by the Estonian Science Foundation in 1994, by the Ministry of Social Affairs in 1995. A comparative research project "Improving Policy Responses and Outcomes to Socio-Economic Challenges: changing family structures, policy and practice" (IPROSEC) coordinated by the Institute of European Studies at the University of Loughborough and funded by the EC FP5 is in force in the years 2000-2003. The project's aim is to inform policy by developing a greater understanding of socio-demographic change in selected European Union member and applicant states, the social and economic challenges such changes present, and the policy responses formulated by national governments and at European levels. Particular reference is being made to changing family structures and relationships.

PUBLICATIONS: 6, 25.

7. RESOURCES AND BARRIERS FOR SUSTAINABLE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES

The project investigating constraints and supporting factors for future social development at the level of local communities is initiated and financed by the county governments of Estonia. The surveys are carried out in the frames of the developmental strategy program of the community. The project is focused on current living conditions of the population (housing, employment, income, health conditions, etc.) as well as subjective evaluations concerning the activities of local power structures and perception of the future perspectives.

PUBLICATIONS: 24.

8. ELABORATION OF THE NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR POVERTY ERADICATION IN ESTONIA

This project aims at elaboration of a principal document for a strategy for poverty eradication in Estonia. The main objectives of the project are to create a method for setting absolute poverty line, to estimate the number of population suffering from insufficient material resources as well as to evaluate the system of social-political means implemented to compensate low material resources. The project is a part of the UN Poverty Strategies Initiative and is financed by UNDP.

PUBLICATIONS: 40, 45, 46, 48, 51, 52

9. CHILDREN'S HEALTH CONDITIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS.

The research project aims at revealing impacts of different environmental conditions on children's subjective and objective health behaviour and health conditions. The project specifically focuses on children's rights and their realisation in their everyday life as estimated by 15-16-year old schoolchildren (1568 respondents, 1997). The project is completed in co-operation with the Institute of Health of the University of Tartu and funded by the Ministry of Education.

PUBLICATIONS: 38, 53.

10. ECONOMIC WELL-BEING OF THE ELDERLY AND PENSION REFORM

The comparative research project of pension reform in various European countries (members of the EU and Central and Eastern European countries in transition) taking "stock" in social policy reforms evaluating their fiscal impact and assessing the relative income position of pensioners. The project will include six countries: Austria, Great Britain, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. The project is granted by Phare ACE Programme.

PUBLICATIONS: 44.

PUBLICATIONS IN 1993-2000


1993

1. Kutsar, D.,Trumm, A. Poverty among households in Estonia. Scandinavian Journal of Social Welfare, 1993, Vol.2, No3: 128-141

2. Soonets,R., Kutsar, D. Child abuse in Estonian families. 4th European Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Acting Upon European Strategies for Child Protection. Padua 28-31 March, 1993. /Eds: P.Facchin, D.Gobber, L.Brusadin, F.Zacchetto. Padua 1993: 238

3. Trumm, A., Kutsar, D., Oja, U. Transformation process in Estonia: a Challenge for social policy. Yearbook of Population Research in Finland XXX, 1993, 31: 104-110

1994

4. Kutsar D. Sotsiaalsest stressist ja psühholoogilisest toimetulekust Eestis [On social stress and psychological coping in Estonia]. Akadeemia, 12: 2541-2566 [in Estonian].

5. Kutsar, D., Tiit, E.-M, Pall, K. On the concept of family in Estonia: an empirical research. Paper given at the ISA XIII World Congress of Sociology, 18-23 July 1994, Bielefeld, Germany. Working Paper.

6. Kutsar, D.; Trumm, A.; Oja, U. Main principles of family policy in Estonia (Predocument for elaboration of the family policy law in Estonia. Working Paper [in Estonian].

1995

7. Kutsar, D. Transformation in Estonia as reflected in families: Insight into social stress and poverty. Dissertationes psychologicae Universitatis Tartuensis. No.2, Tartu University Press, 171 pp.

8. Kutsar, D. Social change and stress in Estonia. Scandinavian Journal of Social Welfare, 1995, No4: 97-107

9. Kutsar, D. Worldwide State of the Family: Estonia. Worldwide State of the Family. Reports and Observations prepared for The Sixth International Congress of Professors World Peace Academy. Seoul, Korea, August 21-25, 1995 / Gordon L. Anderson. St. Paul, Minnesota: A PWPA Book 1995: 52-55.

10. Kutsar, D. Reflections of societal transformation on living conditions in Estonia. International Round Table on Disability. Report of the Third Meeting. Vol Two: Contributed Papers. Joensuu 1995: 1-7.

11. Kutsar, D. On social-cognitive factors determining the levels of social stress. Paper presented at the IV European Congress of Psychology, July 2-7, 1995 Athens. Working paper.

12. Kutsar, D.; Trumm, A. Changed situation, remaining needs: A challenge for welfare policy in Estonia. Simpura, J (ed.) Social Policy in Transition Societies. Experience from the Baltic countries and Russia. Helsinki, 1995, p.44-59

13. Trumm, A. The reflection of social change in Paldiski: objectives, estimates and attitudes. Ethnic minorities or citizens? - issues of ethnopolitics in Baltic countries-project. Working papers series no 2., Tampere: University of Tampere, p.56-68.

1996

14. Kutsar, D. The Imprint of the Transformation on Living Conditions in Estonia. Grøgaard, J. (ed.) Estonia in the Grip of Change. The NORBALT Living Conditions Project. FAFO Report 190: 11-18.

15. Kutsar, D. Feeling of Security and Social Networks. Grøgaard, J. (ed.) Estonia in the Grip of Change. The NORBALT Living Conditions Project. FAFO Report 190: 173-186.

16. Kutsar, D. The interaction between components promoting the democratization process. - Societies in Transition - Development in a Political, Economic and Social Context. Book of Abstracts. 27th ISCW International Conference, July 29 - August 3, 1996, Hong Kong: 149.

17. Kutsar, D., Trumm, A., Oja, U. Income and unemployment in Estonia. Blom, R., Melin, H., Nikula, J. (Eds.) Material for Baltic Models of Transformation. National Reports of Baltic-Nordic Project. Working Papers B:36. Tampere: University of Tampere.

18. Kutsar, D., Trumm, A., Oja, U. Interaction of Social, Economic and Political Factors Promoting the Democratization process. Sehm, K. (ed.) Democratization -Interaction of Social, Economic and Political Determinants in Promoting and Consolidating New or Restored Democracies in the CIS-Countries and Eastern Europe. Helsinki, STAKES: 65-80.

19. Kutsar, D., Trumm, A., Oja, U. Interaction of Social, Economic and Political Factors Promoting the Democratization process. - Societies in Transition - Development in a Political, Economic and Social Context. Conference Proceedings, Vol. 2b. 27th ISCW International Conference, July 29 - August 3, 1996, Hong Kong: 124-136.

20. Trumm, A. Poverty - the cost of transformation. Dissertation for the commencement of the degree of Master of Arts (Sociology), 65 pp.

21. Trumm, A. The Restructuring of Post Soviet Society. The Baltic Review. Autumn 1996 (11), p.54-56

22. Trumm, A. Poverty and social deprivation in Estonia: the cost of reforms in society in transition. - Societies in Transition - Development in a Political, Economic and Social Context. Book of Abstracts. 27th ISCW International Conference, July 29 - August 3, 1996, Hong Kong: 69.

23. Kutsar, D. Multiple welfare losses and risk to social exclusion in the Baltic States at the time of societal transition. (submitted for publication).

24. Kutsar, D., Trumm, A., Oja, U. Uurimisprojekti "Tartumaa Kõigile" aruanne ["Tartu County for Everybody". Final Report of a Research Project]. [in Estonian].

25. Kutsar, D., Trumm, A., Oja, U. Lasterikaste perede elutingimused Eestis 1996. aastal. Uurimisprojekti "Palju-lapselised pered Eestis" lõpparuanne [The living conditions of families with many children. Final Report of a Research Project]. [in Estonian].

26. Kutsar, D. (ed.) Intervjueerimisstrateegiad. Õppematerjal. [Interviewing Strategies. Sourcebook] Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus. [in Estonian].

27. Kutsar, D. Alienation - the cost of societal transformation. - Crossroads in Cultural Studies. An International Conference, July 1-4, 1996. Tampere, Finland. Abstracts. /P. Ruuska, M. Valo. Series B: 37. Department of Sociology and Social Psychology, University of Tampere: 87-88.

28. Kutsar, D. Increasing risks to alienation in a postsocialist country: The case of Estonia. Paper presented at the International Conference "Crossroads in Cultural Studies".

1997

29. Kutsar D. Multiple welfare losses and risk of social exclusion in the Baltic States during societal transition. - The Baltic Countries Revisited: Living Conditions and Comparative Challenges. The NORBALT Living Conditions Project. /Aadne Aasland, Knud Knudsen, Dagmar Kutsar, Ilze Trapenciere. Oslo: Fafo Report 230: 79-104.

30. Kutsar D. Inimareng ja sotsiaalne sidusus. Eesti Inimarengu Aruanne 1997. Tallinn:UNDP:12-19.

31. Kutsar D. Human development and social cohesion. Estonian Human Development Report 1997. Tallinn:UNDP:12-19.

32. Kutsar D. Sotsiaalne tõrjutus - oht riigi arengule. "Sotsiaaltöö" nr. 9, lk. 8-9; 21

33. Kutsar D. Yhteiskunnallisen siirtymäkauden vaikutukset virolqisissa kotitalouksissa. [Households in transforming society] Suomen Lähialueet. Elinolot. 5:13-17.

34. Kutsar D. Situationen för familjer och barn i Baltikum [Situation of children and families in the Baltic countries] Barns villkor och rättigheter I Baltikum och nordvästra Ryssland. Expertartiklar. Rapport till Nordiska rådets Närområdesutskottet: 10-17.

35. Kutsar D., Trumm A. Lapse maksumus Eestis. "Sotsiaaltöö" nr 3, lk. 8-10

1998

36. Kutsar D., Trumm A., Oja U. New democracy: boundaries and resources for development. In.: Social Development and Societies in Transition. Ed. by S.MacPherson, Hoi-Kwok Wong. Aldershot,Brookfies, Singapore, Sydney: Ashgate, pp. 248-264.

37. Kutsar D. Increasing Threats of Alienation in a post-socialist country: The case of Estonia. - Designs for Alientaion. Rxploring Diverse Realities / Devorah Kalekin-Fishman, ed. Jyväskylä: SoPhi 1998: 310-326.

38. Kutsar D. Discussing Childhood Poverty in a Post-Socialist Country: A Case of Estonia. Sociological Abstracts, July 1998: 199

39. Kutsar D. The New Market Economy: Consequences for Living Conditions in the Baltic States. In: De Baltiske Land - et 'Nytt' Norsk Naermrade? /Red.: Anton Steen, Andreas Selliaas. Raport fra seminar den 19. august 1998, arrangert av Universitetet i Oslo, Institutt for statsvitenskap og Utenriksdepartementet. Universitetet i Oslo 1998: 20-33.

40. Kutsar D., Trumm A. Poverty as an obstacle to the realization of human rights. Human Rights in Estonia. Tallinn: UNDP: 11-20

41. Leping V., Oja U. On a tool of optimisation the social research procedures and its applications in teaching. Conference proceedings of the Joint Meeting of the World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (SCI'98) and the 4th International Conference on Informatics Systems Analysis and Synthesis (ISAS'98), Orlando, USA, July, 12-16, 1998.

42. Rüütel E., Helenurm T., Kutsar D., Uljas J. Tudengitervis [Students' Health Behaviour]. Tallinn: TPÜ

1999

43. Kutsar D. Lähedusest paarisuhetes {On intimacy in couple relationships]. Akadeemia: 747-766

44. Trumm A. Transforming well-being of the elderly - a challenge for pension reform in Estonia. Economic Well-being of the Elderly and Pension Reform. /Co-ordinator T.Stanovnik. Final Research Report. PHARE ACE Programme 1996.

45. Kutsar D., Trumm A. (eds) Poverty Reduction in Estonia. Background and Guidelines, UNDP.

46. Kutsar D., Tiit E-M., Trumm A., Käärik E. Entering the new millennium - with poverty? UNDP Human Development Report

2000

47. Kutsar D. Returning long-term unemployed to the labour market: The case of Estonia. Familie 2000. Bildung für Familien und Haushalte. Europäische Perspektiven. Dokumentation der Dritten Europäischen Fachtagung 26.-28.9.1999 in Bonn / Irmhild Kettschau, Barbara Methfessel, Michael-Burkhard Piorkowsky (Hrsg.).Schneider Verlag Hohengehren GmbH

48. Kutsar D., Oja U., Trumm A. The Economic wellbeing of young people. Review of National Youth Policy. Estonia National Report. Ministry of Education, Council of Europe: 219-226.

49. Kutsar D., Oja U., Trumm A. .Students, family and happiness. Review of National Youth Policy. Estonia National Report. Ministry of Education, Council of Europe: 227-233.

50. Marksoo Ü., Oja U., Kutsar D., Einasto M. (Eds). Living Conditions Study in Estonia 1999. Baseline Report. NORBALT II. Tartu: Tartu University Press.

51. Dzenovska D., Koesveld E van, Trumm A. Poverty Reduction in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Highlights of the Conference on Poverty Reduction in the Baltic States 10-11 February 2000. / Riga: UNDP 2000

52. Trumm A. Poverty assessment and reduction strategies in Estonia. Poverty Reduction in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Highlights of the Conference on Poverty Reduction in the Baltic States 10-11 February 2000. / Dace Dzenovska, Ernst van Koesveld, Avo Trumm. Riga: UNDP 2000: 22-28.

53-. Kutsar D, Gross-Lootman S., Tiko A (Eds) Children in Estonia. UN Report

54. Kutsar D. Training Against Social Exclusion. Report of Estonia. Project: VET Against Social Exclusion coordinated by European Training Foundation in Torino (Italy).