Forum Polonia events

Invited lecture

Views of the  family and  upbringing 
in Finland and Poland

Prof. Helena Hurme
Åbo Akademi

April 26, 2002, 18.00-20.00 hours
Anannantalo, Annankatu 30, Helsinki
Free admission


Prof. Helena Hurme has done comparative research related to the family and especially to intergenerational relations in Finland and in Poland together with colleagues from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. The studies have concerned, for instance, Finnish and Polish adolescents' conceptions of their grandparents, filial responsibility norms, i.e., what the rights and duties of the oldest generations are in Finland and in Poland, how the family is conceived by preschool children and which are the most important goals of upbringing and which are the most efficient methods. The results showed, for instance, that Polish adolescents describe their grandparents in greater detail than the Finns do and use more personality terms and descriptions of their emotions and activities, whereas Finns use more descriptions of their appearance. The Poles give the grandparents much more rights to intervene in the life of their children and their grandchildren, but also much more duties towards them than do the Finns. Polish preschoolers draw their family as much larger than do the Finns:  Polish children included up to twenty-three persons in their picture of the family and gave them all names, whereas a Finnish preschool child typically drew four persons and perhaps a dog! Polish parents were more ready to use physical punishment and being an example, the Finnish parents would rather create rules or use persuasions. The Polish parents stressed obedience, politeness, intellectual growth and health more as goals of upbringing, the Finns stressed security and freedom.