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Intergenerational relationships in Germany: A review of insights from pairfam

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Intergenerational relationships in Germany: A review of insights from pairfam

By Karsten Hank

The current article aims to take stock of the main insights into intergenerational relationships in Germany gained from the German Family Panel (pairfam) since its start in 2008. We review about 30 studies based on pairfam and present findings from (a) longitudinal and multi-actor studies, (b) studies investigating the complexity, diversity, and cultural variability of intergenerational relationships, as well as (c) research linking pairfam with other data sources. Over the past decade, pairfam has accomplished its mission to obtain information on intergenerational relations simultaneously and complete, in a life-span perspective, from a panel and multi-actor design, and to account for cultural variability of intergenerational relationships and for institutional settings in cross-national comparisons. With pairfam’s upcoming transition to the German Family Demography Panel Study (FReDA) an uncommon situation emerges, in which the termination of a successful project’s initial funding brings about extraordinary new opportunities. We may therefore expect to see yet another boost in research on intergenerational relationships in Germany over the coming decade.