Monika von Bonsdorff

University of Jyväskylä, Department of Health Sciences

Jyväskylä, Finland

Monika von Bonsdorff


Individual and work-related predictors of dynamic retirement and active ageing.


This interdisciplinary project combines health, psychological, economic sciences in studying how childhood and mid-adulthood personality characteristics influence retirement-related intentions in midlife and how perceptions of work in midlife affect health, ability to perform daily tasks, and well-being in old age from a life course perspective. This study combines research in development of personality, work and gerontology, in an effort to better understand the long term effects of working life on old age. In addition, this study attempts to bridge childhood development and old age via a link to working life. This furthers our understanding of how life course from childhood though midlife effects old age. Retirement is considered to be a dynamic process that may include transitioning back to and from working life during retirement.

The prospective 42-year follow-up study, from age 8 to 50, the Finnish Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development (FJYLS, 1968-2009) and the Finnish Longitudinal Study of Ageing Municipal Employees (FLAME 1981-2009), complemented with new survey and register based data will be used in this project.

The results of this study will help understand the associations between personality characteristics and perceptions of work and retirement-related intentions in midlife. In addition, information regarding the long term effects of working life on old age will be investigated. The planned analyses will produce new knowledge that is important for policy of aging societies with decreasing proportion of populations being in active employment. The main mentor of this proposed postdoctoral project will be Professor Taina Rantanen at the Gerontology Research Centre, a multidisciplinary research centre and the main environment for ageing research at theUniversityofJyväskylä. This proposed postdoctoral research project includes a mobility period to theUnited States,UniversityofMarylan, Department of Psychology and a mobility period toAaltoUniversity,SchoolofEconomics, Department of Management.

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