Intergenerational Research, Educational Research and Youth Studies

The research and teaching unit focuses on the relationship between generations as well as on education and learning processes in the life course from the perspective of educational sciences and an interdisciplinary viewpoint. A particular focus is laid on issues of education and social participation in adolescence and young adulthood.

Currently, several research projects on the core issues of the research and teaching unit are underway using both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

The research and teaching unit is a member of the research centre “Education – Generation – Life Course” (Forschungszentrums „Bildung - Generation - Lebenslauf“).

Research Focuses

A main research project of the research and teaching unit is formed by the three-generations longitudinal study LifE. In the framework of this study, family relations and educational processes are investigated from late childhood to mid-adulthood and intergenerational transmission of education and parenting practices are analysed over three generations. The LifE study, with a current duration of more than four decades and a sample size of more than 2000 participants from three familial generations, is one of the longest-running three-generation longitudinal studies.

A major pillar of the research and teaching unit is also formed by international projects in the field of environmental education research, in which, amongst others, young people’s relationship and engagement with nature and river ecologies is investigated with Young Citizen Scientists through an interdisciplinary approach, and an inter-cultural curriculum for water literacy is being developed (Surviving the Anthropocene Through Inventing New Ecological Justice and Biosocial Philosophical Literacy).

In addition, the research and teaching unit can look back on a long tradition of the scientific evaluation of the European Erasmus+ Youth Education Programmes. For the programme period 2014 to 2020, it was the official Austrian research partner for the scientific evaluation of the European youth education programmes, and it has also been nominated for this role for the programme period 2021 to 2027. Studies to scientifically accompany the programmes Erasmus+ Youth (RAY-MON) and European Solidarity Corps (RAY-SOC) are planned. The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on youth work in Europe (RAY-COR) and the contributions of the European youth programmes to sector-specific strategies that frame and guide the programmes (RAY-STRAT) are also investigated. The evaluation research is commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Education and Internationalisation (OeAD). It is integrated into the European RAY research network (Research-based analysis of European youth programmes).

Furthermore, two regional longitudinal youth studies in Tyrol are currently investigating the transitions from primary school to lower secondary school and from lower secondary school to upper secondary school in the theoretical framing of a resource model for coping with educational transitions. As these longitudinal studies took place during the pandemic (2019-2022), they also enable insights on important questions regarding coping with the challenges of out-of-school distance learning and a possible increase of educational disparities during the pandemic.

Finally, a large number of qualification theses are currently underway: At the habilitation level, there is a project running on teacher-student relationships in school. At the thesis level, current projects include research on stationary child and youth welfare, on the living conditions and educational biographies of care leavers, on violence at school, on wellbeing at school, on the presentation of environmental issues in school textbooks, and on long-term prediction of partner relations and cognitive development in adulthood. At the master’s thesis level, current projects include studies on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on self-regulated out-of-school learning and psychosocial wellbeing of students on different educational levels (primary school, secondary school, university), research on educational disparities, as well as on intergenerational relationships and transmission across generations.

Overview of Research Projects

Projects in alphabetical order:

Anspruch und Realität der Arbeitsgesellschaft. (Claims and reality of the labour society)
G. Thaler

Aufwachsen im Zillertal. Regionale Jugendlängsschnittstudien in Tirol. (Growing up in the Zillertal. Regional longitudinal studies of adolescents in Tyrol)
F. Berger, W. Hagleitner, L. Jesacher-Rößler, C. Kraler, S. Roßnagl & C. Schreiner

Auswirkungen der Erasmus+ Partnerschafts­projekte in den Bereichen Schulbildung, Berufsbildung, Hochschul­bildung, Erwachsenenbildung, Jugend und Europäisches Solidaritätskorps in Österreich auf systemischer Ebene sowie auf institutioneller und individueller Ebene, 2021-2023 (The Impact of Erasmus+ partner-programmes in schools, vocational trainings, universities, further trainings, and youth work in Austria on the system, institutional, and individual level, 2021-2023)
F. Berger & S. Gadinger

Bildungsstand und Bildungsbiografien von Kindern, Jugendlichen und jungen Erwachsenen im Kontext der Kinder- und Jugendhilfe in Österreich (Education and education biographies of children, adolescents and young adults in the context of child and youth welfare in Austria)
W. Hagleitner

Classroom-Management, Lernverhalten und schulisches Wohlbefinden auf der Sekundarstufe I (Classroom management, learning and wellbeing in lower secondary school)
F. Berger

Critical Animal Pedagogy
R. Spannring

Die Bedeutung von Beziehungserfahrungen und Beziehungsvorstellungen in der Adoleszenz für die Qualität von Paarbeziehungen im Erwachsenenalter (The significance of experiences and prior notions of relationships in adolescence for the quality of couple relations in adulthood)
A. Umhauer

Die Lebenssituation von Care Leavern im Alter zwischen 20 und 29 Jahren (Living conditions of care leavers aged between 20 and 29 years)
W. Hagleitner

Distanzlernen und psychosoziales Wohlbefinden von Studierenden in Zeiten der Pandemie: UIBK Corona-Studie (Distance learning and psychosocial wellbeing of students during the pandemic: University of Innsbruck Corona Study)
F. Berger, G. Gniewosz, W. Hagleitner, J. Jegg, S. Roßnagl

Evaluierung des Aktivitätsprogramms „EUer Jahr der Jugend“ 2021-2023 (Evaluation of the Austrian activity programme “European Year of Youth”)
F. Berger & S. Gadinger

Evaluation und Wirkungsanalyse zur Arbeit der österreichischen Nationalagentur für das EU Bildungsprogramm Erasmus+ Jugend in Aktion (Evaluation of the Austrian National Agency for the EU Youth Education Programme “Erasmus+ Youth in Action”)
F. Berger, M. Guse, A. Walch & I. Wieser

Impact of the Corona Pandemic on Youth Work in Europe. A Study Within the Monitoring of European Youth Programmes in Austria
F. Berger & S. Gadinger

Intergenerational Relationships in Emerging Adulthood
F. Berger, M. Herrmann, J. Sommer & S. Mark

Interpersonale Jugend-Gewalt im sozial-ökologischen Mehrebenensystem Schule (Interpersonal youth violence in the social-ecological multi-level system of the school)
M. Herrmann

LifE – Lebensverläufe von der Kindheit ins fortgeschrittene Erwachsenenalter (Pathways from Late Childhood to Adulthood. Context and Development in Adolescence as Predictors of Productive Life-Courses)
W. Lauterbach, F. Berger, H. Fend & U. Grob

Monitoring von Erasmus+ Jugend in Aktion in Liechtenstein – Programmzeitraum 2014 bis 2020 (Monitoring of Erasmus+ Youth in Action in Liechtenstein – programme period 2014 to 2020 and 2021 to 2027)
F. Berger & S. Gadinger

Surviving the Anthropocene through Inventing New Ecological Justice and Biosocial Philosophical Literacy
R. Spannring

Veränderungen der Zielgruppe stationärer Erziehungshilfen in Österreich (Changes in the target group of stationary child and youth welfare in Austria)
W. Hagleitner

Wissenschaftliche Begleitung der europäischen Erasmus+ Jugendbildungsprogramme 2021-2027: RAY-MON, RAY-SOC, RAY-COR und RAY-STRAT (Scientific evaluation of the European Erasmus+ Youth Education Programmes 2021-2027: RAY-MON, RAY-SOC, RAY-COR und RAY-STRAT)
F. Berger & S. Gadinger



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