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PopDigests are short, comprehensive summaries of research results with a link to the original publication (if accessible online).
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Money Can’t Buy Time
Recent studies have argued that children’s cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes are largely determined early in life. In this context, inputs supplied by families and others outside the household during early childhood would play a very significant role in later cognitive, social and behavioural outcomes. In turn, the growth in labour market participation among women with young children has raised concerns about its implications for child cognitive development. In this analysis, Daniela del Boca, Christopher Flinn and Matthew Wiswall explore the impact of changes in the time availability of mothers and fathers on the child development process.
Don’t Blame Contraception
Exploring the differences in the use of contraceptives between cohabiting and married couples is a good measure for possible differences in fertility patterns between the two groups. Yet, such studies are rare for contemporary Spain and France. Particularly little is known about contraceptive use patterns among cohabiting women in these countries. This analysis by Megan M. Sweeney, Teresa Castro-Martin and Melinda Mills sheds light on recent patterns among cohabiters in the United States, Spain and France and refutes the assumption that highly effective contraception is a necessary precursor for dramatic growth in cohabitation, as previous research suggested.
Fancy the Familiar
Online dating is one of the fastest growing ways in which individuals in many countries meet a partner. Therefore, it can serve as an immediate gauge of wider race relations and integration in a country. However, at this point in time, this has hardly been scientifically explored outside of the United States, nor from a comparative perspective. Potârcă and Mills contribute to the field by examining the level of in- and out-group preferences in online dating across nine European countries.
Is Help Always Helpful?
Depression is a major public health problem and the most frequent cause of emotional suffering in later life, which significantly decreases the quality of life of older adults. Social support from family members, and especially children, is of key importance for mental health and well-being. In this study, Maja Djundeva, Melinda Mills, Rafael Wittek and Nardi Steverink explore the role of gender, functional limitations, and social interaction in the association between instrumental support from adult children and parental depression.
Why Odd Times Suit Working Mothers
The increasing labour force participation of women is considered one of the most significant social changes of the past decades and has had a profound impact on the household division of labour and childbearing decisions. The growth in female labour market participation and the resulting difficulties in combining work and family duties does not only impact the number of hours women work, but it also impacts their working times.
Children’s living arrangements have become increasingly diverse and complex in recent decades. A significant proportion of children today grow up in stepfamilies or in separated one-parent families.There has been a wide range of literature that has explored the impact of these family configurations on children’s outcomes later in life. Silvia Meggiolaro and Fausta Ongaro focus on an aspect that has received less attention: children’s emotional status related to non-traditional family forms.
Why Immigrant Children Don’t Do Well At School
© Petro Feket
Across Europe, statistics show that children from migrant families are less successful in school then other pupils. In a recent article Camilla Borgna and Dalit Contini examine the impact of educational systems and provide explanations beyond language skills and socio-economic background.Using data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, the authors compare results for 17 countries. They focus on second-generation immigrants and their achievements at the end of compulsory schooling, about age 15.
Papa, His New Wife, Their Baby and Me
© 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.
Who is doing it again
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.
Changed Experience, Unchanged Effect
© 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.
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