Our empirical investigations in the countries involved were conducted from spring 1991 to autumn 1992. At this time the social transformation process in the former GDR and in Eastern Europe had just started or was already in progress. Assessment of the results of our study must therefore take into account the differences between these countries with respect to their political and economical situation, which existed before the start of this transformation process and became more pronounced as a result of the various ways in which this transformation proceeded.