NorLAG Den norske studien av livsløp, aldring og generasjon

AgePaths advisory board meeting

by thomas

The second AgePaths advisory board meeting was held at Voksenåsen, Oslo, Sept 20-21.

The advisory board consists of the following members:

  • Pearl Dykstra (Erasmus Universiteit)
  • Giovanni Lamura (INCRA)
  • Clemens Tesch-Römer (Deutsches Zentrum für Alterfragen) (not present)
  • Sara Arber (University of Surrey)
  • Rick Settersten (Oregon State University)
  • Chris Phillipson (University of Manchester) (not present)
  • Annemette Sørensen (Prof. Emerita NOVA)

From NOVA the following researchers participated in the meeting: Thomas Hansen (project manager), Tale Hellevik, Katharina Herlofson, Britt Slagsvold, Marja Aartsen, Per Erik Solem, Hanna Nordbø and Svein Olav Daatland. Other participants: Gunhild Hagestad (Prof. Emerita, UiA) and Morten Blekesaune (Prof, UiA).

The meeting was very useful and inspiring, and will be repeated in 2019.

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Marijke Veenstra at 24nkg

24th Nordic Gerontological Congress in Oslo

Almost 800 participants from 40 countries were gathered in Oslo May 2-4 for the 24th Nordic congress of gerontology. NOVA and Oslo Metropolitan University were among the organizers of the congress.

NOVA researchers Marijke Veenstra (Director of the Norwegian Gerontological Society) and Katharina Herlofson were members of the congress organizing commitee. Veenstra and Thomas Hansen were part of the congress scientific commitee, and Marja Aartsen was part of the Scientific commitee of the Nordic Gerontological Federation.

More information can be found on the congress webpages here.

16 NOVA researchers participated at the congress. We chaired two symposia: “Perspectives on active ageing” (Thomas Hansen) and “Older workers in an extended working life” (Tale Hellevik). In addition we lead 7 oral sessions: “Social inequalities in ageing” (Marja Aartsen), “Family and integenerational relationships” (Svein Olav Daatland), , Loneliness (Thomas Hansen), “Meet the editors” (Marja Aartsen), “Informal care” (Heidi Gautun), “Housing and living environment” (Hans Christian Sandlie) and “Work and Retirement” (Per Erik Solem). NOVA researchers presented altogether 22 papers



Aartsen, M., Hansen, T., & Slagsvold, B. Volunteering and quality of life in middle aged and older adults: Causation or Selection?

Aartsen, M. The social pattern of conflicting and low quality social relations

Aartsen, M. Pressing issues for policy and practice to reduce social exclusion

Brandt, M. & Herlofson, K. Caring for parents and grandchildren in Europe

Daatland, S. O. Interests, ideals or identifications? On the attitudes to welfare state priorities among older and younger generations in Norway

Hansen, T. & Slagsvold, B. Volunteering among middle-aged and older Norwegians: participation, motivation, and barriers

Hansen, T. & Slagsvold, B. Late-Life Loneliness in 11 European Countries: Results from the Generations and Gender Survey

Hansen, T., Aartsen, M., Slagsvold, B. & Deindl, C. (presentør). Dynamics of volunteering and life satisfaction in midlife and old age: Findings from 12 European countries

Hellevik, T. Raising average retirement age – the likelihood of unintended consequences

Gautun, H. & Hellesø, R. Safe care to older patients in the transition between hospitals and local care services

Grøtting, M. & Grasdal, A. Socioeconomic Differences in Health Depreciation over the Life Course among the Norwegian Elderly

Ingebretsen, R. Perspectives from relatives on the care of elderly immigrants with dementia

Løset, G., Aartsen, M., & Slagsvold, B. Changes in alcohol patterns: Towards gender equality in alcohol consumption

Nordbø, H. & Herlofson, K. Helping ageing parents – the role of responsibility norms and relationship quality

Nordbø, H. et al. Life-course, ageing and generations in Norway: the NorLAG study

Rostgaard, T., Kroger, T., Stranz, A., & Vabø, M. Changes in the content of care and the working conditions of care workers – impact of marketisation and reablement?

Solem, P. E.  Possible side effects of raised mandatory retirement age in Norway 

Sughara, G. & Nordvik, V. Knitting alone in the city: Oslo’s intra- and inter-urban variations in linked lives

Szebehely, M., Kroger, T., Rostgaard, T., Stranz, A., & Vabø, M. Are formal care workers a forgotten group in a Nordic ‘passion for equality’?

Vabø, M. & Drange, I. Part-time work– the great paradox of Norwegian elder care

Worm, J., Aartsen, M., Camijs, H., & Huisman, M. Patterns of cognitive decline at higher ages: Are more educated persons better off?




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ACCESS Upgrade kick-off

ACCESS is a research infrastructure project at NOVA that aims to improve data quality and accessability of Norwegian life course data.

The project runs from 2017-2022 and is managed by NOVA and Oslo Metropolitan University, together with the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD). The project builds on the ACCESS Life Course Database is one of the previously funded top-calibre research infrastructures for scientific databases and collections on the Norwegian Roadmap for Infrastructure. By being easily accessible and free of charge to researchers, the infrastructure has established itself as a critical resource for providing scientific evidence that is essential in meeting the challenges of population ageing in Norway.

The infrastructure has attracted an increasing number of scholars from a wide range of disciplines, stimulated national and international research collaborations, provided scientific input to policy development and inspired talented students to pursue a career in research. The current proposal builds on this success and addresses the need to upgrade and expand the existing ACCESS Database to ensure its relevance as a durable infrastructure.

So far, the ACCESS infrastructure has, through extensive data management and documentation, facilitated access to quality assured data from the Norwegian Life course, Ageing and Generation panel study (NorLAG), including a combination of longitudinal survey and register data (2002-2012). Information from more than 15,000 individuals (18-85 years old) and over 5,000 variables is shared through the infrastructure.

An important strength of these data is the focus on multiple life domains (e.g. family, health, care, work, retirement, mastery and wellbeing). Thus, it encourages collaboration across disciplines (e.g. sociology, psychology, demography, economics, health sciences), and offers the promise of fruitful dialogues between researchers who are skilled in the analyses of life pathways and scholars who raise theoretical issues regarding the interplay of life patterns and social contexts.

NOVA, the host of the ACCESS Life Course infrastructure, gives high priority to ensuring the longevity of the infrastructure. The relevance of longitudinal databases, as those included in ACCESS, is highly dependent upon updated data. NOVA has therefore invested considerably in financing a third wave of survey data collection. Approximately 10,000 respondents aged 50 years and older are invited to participate in this follow-up survey.

The new survey data and updated register data call for an expansion of the existing infrastructure from two survey waves and 10-year register data to three survey waves (2002-2007-2016) linked to 20-years of register data (2002-2022).



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People on bridge in silhouette.

NorLAG3 data collection completed

Data collection for the third wave of the NorLAG survey was recently completed. Almost 9000 interviews were conducted (response rate 70%).

Data was collected by means of telephone interview and web-based (or postal) questionnaire. The gross sample consisted of individuals above age 50 who participated in NorLAG1 and/or NorLAG2. The response rate was higher among women than men, and higher among the younger than the older.

Of the 9000, more than 6000 persons (74%) completed the questionnaire.

We appreciate the effort of everyone involved in the data collection, particularly by the respondents and the interviewers. Thank you!

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Eldre kvinner på kontor. Foto:

Self-esteem peaks in late midlife

Self-esteem peaks in the 50s and 60s, but declines markedly in later life. This is the main conclusion of a study, published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, by NOVA researchers Tilmann von Soest and Thomas Hansen, together with german colleagues Denis Gerstorf and Jenny Wagner.

A recently published NorLAG paper examines trends and predictors in self-esteem in the second half of life (age 40+). Findings show increasing self-esteem among men and women until late midlife.

A strong decline is however observed from mid-70s, explained by age-related changes in roles, health, and social relationships.


Tilmann von Soest, Thomas Hansen et al: Self-Esteem Across the Second Half of Life: The Role of Socioeconomic Status, Physical Health, Social Relationships, and Personality Factors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2017.  DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000123. Abstract.

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