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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. 

To date, a large number of researchers have documented associations between lower birth weight and a range of health problems later in life. However, for a substantial amount of existing studies, it is unclear whether these associations reflect causality. Aiming at providing causal evidence in this field of research, Jonas Helgertz (University of Minnesota and Lund University) and Anton Nilsson (Lund University) analysed full-population Swedish register data on siblings and twins born between 1973 and 1994, and followed until 2011. [...]
El elevado costo económico de las desigualdades en salud en la Unión Europea
El estado de salud se distribuye de manera muy desigual en la sociedad, lo que significa que las personas con menores niveles de educación, ocupación o ingresos, tienden a tener unas tasas de morbilidad y mortalidad sistemáticamente superiores. No cabe duda de que dichas desigualdades en materia de salud producen costes económicos, pero ¿cuál es su magnitud? El equipo liderado por Johan Mackenbach, de la Universidad Erasmo de Róterdam, presenta los primeros datos para la Unión Europea.   [...]
Divorcio paterno, bienestar psicológico y logros educativos entre los suecos nacidos entre 1892 y 1991
Durante los últimos cien años las tasas de divorcio y de separación han aumentado de manera dramática en todos los países europeos. Pero, ¿afecta de igual manera a los niños y adolescentes de hoy que a los de hace cien años? ¿Cómo ha cambiado la asociación entre el divorcio de los padres y el bienestar de los hijos con el tiempo? Para responder a estas preguntas, Michael Gähler y Eva-Lisa Palmtag analizan las condiciones de vida durante la infancia de los suecos nacidos entre 1892 y 1991 empleando los datos de seis ciclos de la Swedish Level of Living Survey.   [...]
Long-term effects of attending preschool
It has been proven that preschool attendance improves certain short-term cognitive outcomes of children, such as early literacy, early number concepts, and health. However, very little is known about the long-term effects of preschool. [...]
Divorce rates in Western countries have been increasing in recent decades and more children are also born to parents who never cohabitate.  As a result, more and more children are living in joint or sole physical custody.  Existing research has suggested some of the negative effects of parental separation on child-wellbeing, such as an increased risk of social maladjustment and poor health. However, very little research has explored the influence of parental ill health and well-being on children’s mental health as a result of differing family structures. [...]
Norms of family obligations and actual support provided to parents: a cross-national approach
Country differences in intergenerational relationships are not only due to economic, policy or housing contexts but also to a cultural tendency towards closer intergenerational ties. In a recent study, Cornelia Mureşan and Paul-Teodor Hărăguş investigated how norms of filial responsibility influence adult children to provide support to their ageing parents in several Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries as compared to Western Europe. [...]
Providing informal care in mid and late life
Caring for one's spouse who suffers from long-term physical or mental impairments, giving a hand to an elderly neighbour by assisting with everyday activities in the household or looking after oneˆs grandchildren ? care provided outside of formal care institutions comes in many different guises. In this context, a recent study by Athina Vlachantoni from the University of Southampton sheds light on how, in particular, people in mid and late life fare as providers of informal care. [...]
Parental Divorce, Psychological Well-Being and Educational Attainment Among Swedes Born 1892-1991
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.   [...]
UK women now give birth later in life
Fertility trends in the United Kingdom demonstrate both stability and change. Overall, the birth rate has changed less over recent decades than has the timing of those births, which are occurring much later. In a new study, Máire Ní Bhrolcháin, Éva Beaujouan, and Ann Berrington explain how this trend of postponing starting a family can be better understood by examining women's fertility intentions. The authors draw from the responses of women in the United Kingdom’s General Household Survey (GHS) over the period 1991-2007. [...]
Most research so far has related the delay of parenthood to more years spent in education, the difficulties to conciliate work and family life, or to growing economic uncertainty in Europe, often assuming that once the obstacles for childbearing are removed, fertility will rise again. Less attention has been given to childlessness as a conscious decision in explaining fertility patterns. Particularly, quantitative analyses in this area are still scarce. [...]

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