Risks, coping strategies and family wellbeing: evidence from Finland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – As a member of the Nordic welfare regime, Finland has been acknowledged for its encompassing family policies with high degrees of parental employment and low incidence of poverty. During recent years, however, sluggish growth, high levels of unemployment and recurrent austerity measures have graduallyundermined the economic security of families, notably among single-parent and multi-child families, and this has put families under increasing strain and increased the risks of poverty, inequality and other forms of ill-being. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, the authors investigate risks and coping strategies and well-being of Finnish families with children. Family well-being is defined as an umbrella concept covering economic, social or psychological well-being and physical health. The data consist of 22 qualitative semi-structured interviews with parents from the region of Ostrobothnia in Finland and were collected in the winter of 2016–2017.

Findings – Based on the findings, the authors argue that the risks the families in Finland confront are linked to lower well-being, most notably for families encountering sickness, unemployment or divorce. The findings also show that parents have to employ various coping strategies themselves and that the society’s support is insufficient.

Originality/value – This paper, thus, contributes to the literature on the effects of austerity policies on families by focussing on the consequences on family well-being, but also on the risks that families face and the coping mechanisms they use for handling with these risks.

Keywords Risks, Austerity, Coping strategies, Families with children, Family well-being

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1116–1132
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number11/12
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Austerity
  • families
  • well-being
  • Risks
  • coping strategies/methods

Cite this