Stress, development and mental health (the TAM project)



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Equality Unit

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The Stress, Development and Mental Health: TAM-cohort studies the life course from adolescence to midlife.

Mother and daughter.


The TAM cohort has followed study participants of a one age cohort through the ages of 16, 22, 32, 42 and 52, starting from the year 1983. The respondents all attended compulsory school in Tampere area at baseline, which is how the study got its name. The study’s areas of interest include mental health, transition periods within the life course, and decision-points occuring within these periods, e.g. decisions relating to studies, occupation and starting a family. Such decisions and path of events they give way to have been shown to be associated with a person’s holistic health and well-being. Furthermore, psychosocial development as well as the social and environmental conditions in which a person spends their youth are of great importance to later health and well-being. 

The focal point of this research has been on studying the protective and risk factors surrounding participants’ life processes. The study’s fundamental guiding question can thus be defined as; how can we support those who have been faced with the most life challenges, their development and grit, as well as prevent, where possible, threats to well-being during various burdensome life events.  

Why TAM? 

A growing body of research supports the theory that the environment and psychosocial conditions a child or adolescent grows and develops in help pave the way to health, well-being, and socioeconomic standing in adulthood. However, a deeper understanding of the nature of these developmental processes is still lacking. 

The TAM study, with its longitudinal approach, enables researchers to analyze the life course more comprehensively when studying different mental health and well-being related themes. Knowledge of the longitudinal effects of life’s major events and phases may aid policy and decision makers in their work and contribute to the prevention of harmful lifepaths. 

Study aims and subject areas

Examples of research topics within the study: 

  • Associations between various risk factors related to family background, adolescence, transition into adulthood, mental health and well-being
  • Factors that protect adolescents against mental health and well-being challenges during development and the broader life course.

The central subject areas throughout all life phases have been:

  • physical and mental health
  • health behavior
  • life situation
  • psychosocial resources.





Noora Berg
Principal investigator, senior researcher
puh. 029 524 8519

Olli Kiviruusu
Principal investigator, research manager
puh. 029 524 8323

Jenna Grundström

E-mail addresses are in the form: [email protected]



Berg N, Kiviruusu O, Grundström J, Huurre T, Marttunen M. Stress, development and mental health study, the follow-up study of Finnish TAM cohort from adolescence to midlife: cohort profile. BMJ Open 2021;11:e046654. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046654