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Life Stage Early Adulthood

The Research Project "Young Adults in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain and Portugal" - Life Design of Young Adults in Munich, Milan, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Barcelona and Porto aged 20 - 30 between Vocational Training, Job and Family (YAGISS) deals with the situation of young adults: They are passing through an important life stage that differs a lot between countries. But all young adults initiate a development for their future in this stage: Which job is the right one in the long run? How does one like to live for the next years? Searching for the right partner is an important concern for many people. Future career plans and the desire to have children are often badly compatible. We only know little how this life stage can be successfully mastered. In our study we compare four European countries which have many similarities but also differences in economics and family relations.

Research Project

The research project was initiated in 2004 by the research teams of Prof. Sabine Walper at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich/Germany (LMU) and the team of Prof. Dr. E. Scabini at the Universitá Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore in Milan/Italy. Together the two teams developed a substantial questionnaire and started data collection. In 2006, Prof. Ann Frisen at the Gothenburg University (Sweden) and in 2007 the team of Prof. Carles Pérez Testor at Universitat Ramon Llull from Barcelona (Spain) joined the project. 2008 Prof Paula Mena Martos and her Team, from the University of Porto in Portugal, joined the YAGISS – now YAGISSP team. 2007/2008, YAGISS did qualitative research in Germany, Italy and Sweden: Interviews of 30 young adults in each country are being collected.

Future Plans

Cross-cultural analyses have to be done, based on the collected questionnaire data in Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Spain. This includes the validation of Scales as well as cross-cultural comparisons. This includes the validation of Scales as well as cross-cultural comparisons.

Qualitative Interviews will give a more detailed picture of meanings of the situation of young adults and especially on leaving home in early adulthood in comparison of the four European countries.


In Munich, Milan and Barcelona we have a Students and a Non-Students Sample, in Gothenburg / Stockholm and Porto, we have only a Students Sample. In 2010, we had 630 German, 572 Italian, 238 Swedish, 400 Spanish and 463 participants from Portugal. About 38% to 94% of the participants of each country are students, 55-69% are females and mean age is about 24.6 years. 14.9% (Sweden) up to 81.3% (Italy) are co-residing with their parents.


Conferences in 2006:

  • 5th Conference of the International Academy of Family Psychology, Cardiff (IAFP)

Conferences in 2007:

  • 13th European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Jena (ECDP)
  • 18. Tagung der Fachgruppe Entwicklungspsychologie, Heidelberg
  • Identity through the Lifespan, Sätra, Sweden

Conferences in 2008:

  • 19th International Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Bremen (IACCP)
  • 11th Biennal EARA Conference, Turin (European Association for Research on Adolescence)
  • 20th Biennal ISSBD Meeting, Würzburg (International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development)

Conferences in 2010:

  • 12th Biennal EARA Conference in Vilnius (European Association for Research on Adolescence)
  • 5th Congress European Society on Family Relations


YAGISS: mail@yagiss.de
Project Manager:  Prof. Dr. Sabine Walper
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Leopoldstraße 13
80802 München
Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München Universitá Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore Milan Göteborg Universitet Universitat Ramon Llull Barcelona Spain English Deutsch Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação/Faculty of Psychology and Education