FSD2608 University Student Health Survey 2008shortcuts: data collection | citation | publications
Finnish Student Health Survey 2008
Kunttu, Kristina (Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS))
Huttunen, Teppo (4Pharma Ltd)
The national survey focused on the health and health-related behaviour of university and university of applied science (polytechnic) students in Finland. Questions covered physical, mental and sexual health, health behaviour, physical activity, social interaction, ability to study, study environment, bullying, the use of and satisfaction with student health services, and travel abroad.
General state of health was charted with a number of questions relating to long-term illnesses, disabilities or disorders, medicines used, sleeping habits, and the respondents' weight, height and waistline. Eating habits and disorders were also investigated as well as other physical, psychological or social symptoms causing problems. Psychosocial health was further studied using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12).
Some questions studied the respondent's gambling and internet use habits and possible problems caused by them. Sporting activities, less vigorous exercise habits, and use of performance enhanching substances were surveyed. Eating habits were investigated with a number of questions, for instance, relating to following a special diet, and the consumption of milk, bread or fruit, pizza, chips etc. The respondents were also asked how often they brush or floss their teeth and use toothpaste or xylitol products.
Health-related behaviour was further studied by asking the respondents about their smoking habits, and the use of drugs and alcohol (amount, frequency). Drinking habits were charted by using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).
One theme pertained to the respondents' studies. They were asked how many years they had been enrolled as 'present' for current studies, credits earned, estimated graduation year, whether the study was full-time or part-time, study success, confidence of having chosen the right field of study, and in what kind of study-related situations they experienced emotional tension. Views were probed on the sufficiency of study guidance and advice provided by the institution. Perceptions of the workload, study engagement, meaningfulness of studying and study stress were investigated. The respondents were also asked to evaluate their financial situation. One question covered participation in paid work and working hours a week.
The survey also investigated interpersonal interaction. The respondents were asked about their household composition and living arrangements, marital status and partnerships, number of children, how many children they wanted, voluntary/civic activities, whether they felt lonely or part of a group, and whether they had someone close to them with whom they could discuss their affairs.
Use of and satisfaction with health services was studied with a few questions relating how satisfied the repondents had been the last time they had used the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) services, reason for using other, non-FSHS health services, health professionals visited during the past 12 months and where, and what type of guidance they would like in certain issues (e.g. stress or weight management, alcohol use, smoking cessation).
Some questions charted whether the respondents had been subjected to bullying at school, how often and to what kind of bullying, and whether they had been subjected to bullying or discrimination during their university studies or had themselves bullied or discriminated against others.
Sexual health questions covered sexual orientation, age when had first sexual intercourse, number of intercourses during the past month, chlamydia, use of contraception or erection enhancement medication, conceptions of at what age a woman's chances to become pregnant diminish. Problems with acne, asthma, atopic eczema, allergies and treatments used were also surveyed.
Finally, the respondents were asked about their travel abroad, exceeding 10 days, during the past 12 months: destination, purpose of travel, vaccinations taken, travel insurance, illnesses and symptoms during travel, and being subjected to crime during travel.
Background variables included the respondent's age, gender, location of the university/polytechnic, and field of study.
academic achievement; diet and nutrition; drinking behaviour; drug abuse; employment; exercise; health risks; health services; internet use; interpersonal relations; mental health; sexual behaviour; sexual health; sleep; student behaviour; undergraduates
health sciences; medicine; psychology; social welfare policy; sociology (FSD Topics Classification)
general health; health care and medical treatment; psychology; youth (CESSDA Topics Classification)
Access to the data granted for scientific and teaching purposes. FSD's access application procedure.
Kunttu, Kristina (Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS))
Huttunen, Teppo (4Pharma Ltd)
Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS)
Ministry of Education
Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences - SAMOK
23.1.2008 - 27.6.2008
Undergraduate students, aged under 35, studying at a university or a university of applied sciences (polytechnic) in Finland (excluding Åland University of Applied Sciences and Police College of Finland)
Stratified random sampling. The sample of university students was drawn from the client registers of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) in December 2007. Subsamples were drawn by municipality in each location where the FSHS provides services for students. The sample of university of applied sciences students consisted of subsamples drawn from the student registers of each university of applied sciences. The request for student addresses and research permit was sent to all 28 universities of applied sciences in Finland (excluding Åland University of Applied Sciences and the Police College of Finland), of which 27 complied. In all subsamples, the proportion of sampled students compared to the total number of students in the university was kept the same. Only students who were born in 1973 or later and who were enrolled as 'present' for the study year 2007-2008 were included in the samples.
The stratified sampling produced a sample of 5,000 university students and 4,999 university of applied science students. Of them, 32 students were dropped because they were either abroad as exchange students or their questionnaire was returned more than once. The final sample size was 9,967 students, of whom 45,2% were men and 54,8% women. The proportion of men was 46% for university students and 45% for university of applied sciences students. The participants were given the option of answering an online questionnaire instead of filling in the traditional paper questionnaire.
Postal survey and Internet survey
Longitudinal: Trend/Repeated cross-section
Data: SPSS portable file. Data available also in other file formats.
Number of cases and variables
5099 cases and 531 variables
See downloadable files at the top of the page
Questionnaire: pdf files in Finnish and Swedish
The source must be acknowledged in any publication based wholly or in part on the data. The bibliographic citation may be in the form required by the publication, or in the form suggested by the archive.
Kunttu, Kristina & Huttunen, Teppo: University Student Health Survey 2008 [computer file]. FSD2608, version 1.0 (2011-03-02). Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) & Ministry of Education & Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences - SAMOK [producers], 2008. Tampere: Finnish Social Science Data Archive [distributor], 2011.
The archive must be informed of all publications where the data have been used.
The depositor and the archive bear no responsibility for any results or interpretations arising from the secondary use of the data.
Björklund, Katja & Heiskanen, Maria & Kokko, Marjo (2011). Opiskelija internetissä. Kuin kala vedessä vai kiinni verkossa. Korkeakouluopiskelijoiden rahapelaaminen ja internetin käyttö. Helsinki: YTHS ja THL. Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitoksen raportteja; 16/2011.
Jauhiainen, Janne & Korkeaoja, Lauri & Lavikainen, Elina & Niemelä, Anna & Penttilä, Johanna (2009). Silmäyksiä perheellisten korkeakouluopiskelijoiden tilanteeseen. Helsinki: Opiskelijajärjestöjen tutkimussäätiö Otus rs 32/2009.
Kunttu, Kristina & Huttunen, Teppo (2009). Korkeakouluopiskelijoiden terveystutkimus 2008. Helsinki: Ylioppilaiden terveydenhoitosäätiö. Ylioppilaiden terveydenhoitosäätiön tutkimuksia; 45.
Opiskelijaperheet ja opintotuki (2009). Helsinki: Opetusministeriö. Opetusministeriön työryhmämuistioita ja selvityksiä 2009:14.
Opiskeluterveys (2011). Toim. Kunttu, Kristina & Komulainen, Anne & Makkonen, Katri & Pynnönen, Päivi. Helsinki: Duodecim.
Salmela-Aro, Katariina (2009). Opiskelu-uupumusmittari SBI-9 yliopisto- ja ammattikorkeakouluopiskelijoille. Helsinki: Ylioppilaiden terveydenhoitosäätiön tutkimuksia; 46.
Salmela-Aro, Katariina & Kunttu, Kristina (2010). Study burnout and engagement in higher education. Unterrichtswissenshaft 38(4), 318-333.
Virtala, Aira & Vilska, Sirpa & Huttunen, Teppo & Kunttu, Kristina (2011). Childbearing, the desire to have children, and awareness about the impact of age on female fertility among Finnish university students. The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, Early Online, 1-8. doi:10.3109/13625187.2011.553295.