Courses of Life and Historical Change in East Germany (Life History Study LV DDR)

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Mayer, Karl U. (Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung, Berlin)
Publication Date
  • infas-Sozialforschung, Bonn (Data Collector)
  • GESIS (Distributor)
  • GESIS (Hosting Institution)
  • ZA:
    • Society, Culture
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Labour and employment
    • Education
    • Social conditions and indicators
    • Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
    • Social stratification and groupings
    • Family life and marriage
    • Housing
Free Keywords
Schema: TheSoz
social background; relocation; school education; course of education; job history; advanced vocational education; partnership; number of children; assistance; German Democratic Republic (GDR)
  • Abstract

    Detailed information and judgements on courses of life in the areas family, education and employment. Topics: 1. Family origin of target person: social origin; information on natural mother, natural father or stepparents and foster parents as well as on siblings; information on courses of life of siblings. 2. Residential history and places of stay: residence description and reasons for change; supplementary questions on household structure and mobility. 3. School and occupational training biography: school and occupational training. 4. Employment history, occupation and work life: positions and activities of employment life; times of no contribution to retirement program; gaps in employment; side jobs; occupational further education; current working conditions; expected occupational changes and possible reactions of respondent; unemployment and its consequences; military service; illness history. 5. Personal family: marriage biography; partner situation; information on earlier spouse; information on current spouse or companion through life; information on children; social contacts; assistance received and given; importance of areas of life; role of man and woman; comparison of living conditions GDR / FRG. 6. Economic situation: possession of durable economic goods; income; savings; travels. 7. Politics and religion: sympathy scale for the parties; behavior at the polls; party membership of parents; memberships and functions in organizations; political participation; interest in politics in parental home; religious upbringing; religious affiliation. 8. Also encoded were: number of contact attempts; number and length of presence of other persons during interview; interventions of other persons in the course of the interview; reliability of respondent answers; length of interview; date of interview; identification of interviewer.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1991-09 / 1992-08
Geographic Coverage
  • Berlin (DE-BE)
    East Berlin
  • Brandenburg (DE-BB)
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (DE-MV)
  • Saxony (DE-SN)
  • Saxony-Anhalt (DE-ST)
  • Thuringia (DE-TH)
Sampled Universe
Persons from the years of birth 1929 to 1931, 1939 to 1941, 1951 to 1953 and 1959 to 1961. Selected were persons of German citizenship living in Eastern Germany at the beginning of October 1990.
Probability: Simple random; Sampling Procedure Comment: Simple random selection from the central resident registry of the former GDR.
Time Dimension
  • Cross-section
Collection Mode
  • Face-to-face interview: PAPI
  • Oral survey with standardized questionnaire
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 2331
The data set is part of an extensive project in which work was done with different cohorts, survey instruments and sampled populations. The data sets are archived under ZA Study Nos. 2644 to 2648.
C - Data and documents are only released for academic research and teaching after the data depositor’s written authorization. For this purpose the Data Archive obtains a written permission with specification of the user and the analysis intention.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA2644 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • 1 (Type: VerbundFDB)
  • Hess, Doris; Smid, Menno: Lebensverläufe und historischer Wandel in der ehemaligen DDR: Methodenbericht der Hauptstudie. Bonn: infas (o.J.) siehe:

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 95 | Registration Date: 2010-07-22