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Danish Longitudinal Survey of Youth–Children (DLSY-C)


How much do parents and grandparents influence the choices, attitudes, and abilities of children? This new DLSY-C survey enables researchers to track inter-generational relations and transfers across three generations of Danes. The survey also enables researchers to combine ‘soft’ survey data with ‘hard’ data from administrative registers.

Social scientists are often interested in studying how social relations, resources, and outcomes are linked across generations. This type of analysis provides information about the level of intergenerational mobility, social inequality, and the mechanisms that generate mobility and inequality.

Survey of three generations

The Danish Longitudinal Survey of Youth – Children (DLSY-C) is a new survey which includes the children of a group of 3,151 Danes participating in another long-running cohort study; the Danish Longitudinal Survey of Youth (DLSY). What makes the DLSY-C survey particularly valuable for studying intergenerational transfers, relations, and mobility is the fact that both the parents and grandparents of the participants in the survey have been interviewed before in the previous DLSY survey. Consequently, the children in the DLSY-C survey, many of whom are siblings, are the third generation of a family on which we already have survey data. An additional feature of the DLSY-C is that data from the surveys can be combined with data from administrative registers both within and across generations.

First-Wave DLSY-C Data

The first wave of DLSY-C data was collected in 2010. Most of the DLSY-C participants were born between 1975 and 1985 and most of them have recently left the educational system and entered the labour market. The first wave of data focuses on the educational career from primary to tertiary education, on the academic achievement of the participants, and on whether they expect to return to the education system. The data collected also included data on cognitive ability, occupation, health, cultural participation, personality traits, family situation, and family background. As with their parents, who are participating in the DLSY survey, we expect to follow the DLSY-C participants for an extended period of time.

Linking generations: ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ data

Data from the DLSY-C can be linked to ‘soft’ survey data on parents and grandparents from earlier DLSY waves and with ‘hard’ data from administrative registers. Parents (born ca. 1954) were interviewed in 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1992, 2001, and 2004 and grandparents (born ca. 1930) were interviewed in 1969. The DLSY survey data contains extremely detailed information on, amongst other things, educational and occupational career, income and wealth, family history, attitudes and beliefs, leisure activities, social relations, cognitive ability, health, and family background. Survey data from the DLSY-C can also be linked to ‘hard’ data from administrative registers, including longitudinal information on education, income, health-care usage, fertility, crime, and residential mobility. The administrative registers are useful, firstly because there is no missing data and, secondly, because data can be obtained for both the DLSY-C participants and their parents and grandparents.

More information

You can obtain more information on the DLSY-C survey from the DLSY website at www.sfi.dk/dlsy or by writing to the DLSY-C staff on dlsy@sfi.dk.


The DLSY-C survey is being funded by the Danish Social Science Research Council (grant 275-09-0145) and the Strategic Research Council (grant 2139-08-0020).

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