What do the typical life-course patterns of children and adolescents in the different birth cohorts look like and how greatly do they vary?
How do children and adolescents acquire social and other skills while growing up? What are the main developmental milestones and when are they completed? How do different types of competences develop? Does interaction between the different competences take place? Do early deficits in the development of competences persist or can they be made up over time?
What relations exist between family and the school environment, peers and transitions in the course of life? Are there associations between contextual factors and the subsequent development of competences and skills? What impact does coping with important transitions over one’s life course have on the development of different kinds of competences?
What role do different kinds of competence play in coping with important transitions in the course of life?
How does social change influence the typical pattern of individual life courses and the intra-individual development of competences and skills? To what extent does it affect important contextual factors and social resources? Does social change lead to alterations in important transitions in life and change the milestones regarding the process of developing competences?
What do the living conditions, life courses, life experiences, skills and competences of 6, 15 and 21 year-olds look like? To what extent do they vary within a birth cohort?
How are children and adolescents assessed with regard to their skills and competences by the most important caregivers in their environment (parents and teachers) and what aspirations do they hold for their life courses?
What kind of impact do living conditions as well as assessments of important caregivers (parents and teachers) have on the various phases of children’s and adolescents’ lives (also considering values, skills, and competences)?