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PopDigests

PopDigests are short, comprehensive summaries of research results with a link to the original publication (if accessible online). This allows population experts and other interested audiences to be able to easily access information to the latest research results. 

Studies in a range of Western countries have shown that about 10% of all adults are in a relationship in which the partners do not live together. This is often seen as an expression of the individualisation of societies. However, little is known about how commitment in these so-called living-apart-together (LAT) relationships actually works. This is explored in a new study by Roselinde van der Wiel, Clara H. Mulder and Ajay Bailey by using an extended version of the Investment Model of Commitment. [...]
What Explains the Gap between Fertility Ideals and Intentions?
Fertility rates in many postindustrial societies are now below 1.5 children per woman. At the same time, the majority of young adults throughout the postindustrial world say that a family with two children is ideal. Many young adults say they would like to have two children, but expect to have fewer. What explains this gap between fertility ideals and intentions? [...]
The growing demand for long-term care (LTC) and its adequate provision is one of the challenges of societies facing population ageing. The majority of care work in Europe is provided by family members and this demanding task can be a stressful experience for the person giving care. In a recent study, Melanie Wagner and Martina Brandt questioned whether the availability of regional formal care could contribute to improve the wellbeing of caregivers. [...]
A new study published in BMJ Global Health by Lene Martinsen and colleagues assessed the effects of population size on the amount of development assistance for health (DAH) that countries receive. Based on analyses of data for 143 countries spanning more than 20 years the study shows that larger population sizes is associated with significant decreases in per capita DAH. [...]
Re-thinking Sweden as having a "weak-family system"
Past research has claimed that countries like England, Sweden and the United States have weak family ties and they are more centred around the individual. This would mean that in times of need, families are not seen as a strong safety net and people try to cope with the situation on their own. In a recent study by Marco Albertini, Michael Gähler and Juho Härkönen, they chose to look specifically at Sweden to determine if family dissolution increased the likelihood of divorced/separated individuals moving back in to their parents’ home (intergenerational (re)co-residence). [...]
There is a lot of research about the role of social policies in fertility behaviour in contemporary societies particularly with a focus on work and family reconciliation policies. Much less, however, is known about how social policies affect fertility behaviour after separation. In a new study, Kreyenfeld et al. (2017) explore how union dissolution influences when people have a second child and how the impact varies by education and national policy context. [...]
Better or worse?
With the increasing housing prices and the need to take care of an ageing population, many young generations are living together with their parents, parents-in-law or grandparents (here forth, older generations). Previous research confirms the importance of intergenerational living arrangements (ILAs) for health, but it is still unclear whether ILA is beneficial or detrimental for one’s health. [...]
From immigrant optimism to the optimism trap?
Ethnic minority students often choose more ambitious academic tracks than their native peers. However, the higher dropout rates among immigrant children at the higher secondary and university level suggest that low performing migrant students could have benefitted more from pursuing less ambitious tracks, especially in countries that offer viable vocational alternatives. [...]
A study of disability services in Estonia
In Estonia, persons with disabilities are entitled to rehabilitation services, so in order to ensure that services are successful, the government has made efforts to modernize its system. To understand how clients feel about these services, Karin Hanga and colleagues conducted interviews with 12 individuals about their previous experiences with disability services and the newly-implemented initial rehabilitation needs assessment questionnaire to determine if the Estonian disability system is providing a person-centred approach. [...]
In a new study, Conkova, Fokkema and Dykstra examined the extent to which Europeans opt for support from friends, neighbors and colleagues when looking for advice and help with finding a new job. The authors compared preferences for kin, non-kin (unpaid) and professional (paid) support with data from the European Quality of Life Survey for 27 countries. Their results suggest that Europeans vary greatly in their preferences for support, and that these variations are associated with the cultural context in which they are embedded. [...]

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