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  • 11/11/2014
    Papa, His New Wife, Their Baby and Me
    Source: © monropic - Fotolia.com
    Terms like “blended families” or “patchwork families” sound new and modern, but the concept is an old one. There have always been children growing up in what was then called “Stepfamilies”. However, what changed significantly over time are the reasons for such arrangements: Whilst historically they were mostly a result of early parental death, today’s stepfamilies are usually formed after parents separate. So today’s family arrangements are varied: Two children living in the same household might share both parents, making them full siblings. Or they might each be the biological child of one, but not the same, adult in the household, making them stepsiblings. Or one child might live with both of their biological parents of whom one is the parent and one is the stepparent of the other child, making the children half-siblings.
  • 05/11/2014
    Who is doing it again
    Source: © Halfpoint
    Fertility in Europe is characterised by sizeable contrasts between countries. These differences are not due to different levels of childlessness, but rather caused by variation in second (and third) birth rates. Opportunities and constraints that influence decisions about family size are closely linked to educational attainment. Recent evidence suggests that the behaviour of women with high education may even be related to overall fertility levels: In countries with relatively high transitions to second births, the total fertility rates tend to be higher. This implies that more knowledge about educational differentials can contribute to the understanding of diversity in fertility in contemporary Europe.
  • 31/10/2014
    Changed Experience, Unchanged Effect
    Source: © Romolo Tavani
    During the last hundred years, divorce and separation rates have increased dramatically in all European countries. But does it mean the same for children and adolescents today as it did a century ago? How has the association between parental divorce and child well-being changed in magnitude over time? To answer these questions for Sweden, Michael Gähler and Eva-Lisa Palmtag use six waves of the Swedish Level of Living Survey, and explore data on childhood living conditions for an entire century of Swedes, born between 1892 and 1991.
  • 08/10/2014
    Missing the Bigger Picture
    Source: © lassedesignen
    Immigrants and their children and grandchildren form a significant part of the population in many European countries. But only over the last decade has research begun to show increasing interest in understanding the patterns of union formation and childbearing behaviour of ethnic minorities.
  • 29/09/2014
    Mixing Does not Always Lead to Matching
    Source: © DiversityStudio
    During the last two decades, most European countries experienced increased immigration and ethnic heterogeneity in their populations. Not surprisingly, marriages between natives and immigrants also increased, even in those countries where the barriers between ethnic groups have typically been high. However, European research on union dynamics is far from being complete.
  • 24/09/2014
    Who Does What in the Joint Household?
    Source: © dubova
    Earning money, managing the home and looking after children – surely no couple would complain about a lack of work. There are many different answers to the question of how to best share these tasks. But are there significant differences between same-sex and different-sex couples when it comes to the division of household work, and do these differences change across generations? Lisa Giddings, John M. Nunley, Alyssa Schneebaum and Joachim Zietz sought out to find answers to these exact questions.
  • 14/08/2014
    Versatile Designs of Life
    Source: © djma - Fotolia.com
    Traditional family patterns are losing popularity in Europe. One example of this is the fact that more and more people are living together without getting married. Cohabitation means different things to different people, and people choose this family arrangement for various reasons. Do these reasons influence their fertility intentions? In a recent study, Nicole Hiekel and Teresa Castro-Martin examine how the different meanings of cohabitation and the intention to have a child are intertwined.
  • 16/06/2014
    “Divorce-Damages” on Education
    Source: © Kzenon - Fotolia.com
    Can parental divorce affect the chances of children to obtain a university degree? By studying divorce in 14 countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Romania, and Russia), Fabrizio Bernardi and Jonas Radl explored its long-term consequences on education achievement and found a negative, although relatively small effect.
  • 26/05/2014
    Always a Risk of Divorce
    Source: © drx - Fotolia.com
    To what extent are children suffering when their parents get divorced? That question is not so easy to answer, mainly because of the complexity of this topic. Researchers Steffen Reinhold, Thorsten Kneip and Gerrit Bauer focused on a much more detailed question instead: How are the effects of unilateral divorce laws affecting the well-being of children?
  • 24/04/2014
    Early Life Conditions Can Make You Sick Later
    Source: © Pavla Zakova - Fotolia.com
    Adverse health conditions experienced during individuals’ first year of life increase the risk of sick leave in adulthood. This link, explored in a study by Jonas Helgertz and Mats R. Persson (Lund University, Sweden) is not mediated by socioeconomic circumstances later in life.
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