Understanding trends in family formation trajectories: An application of Competing Trajectories Analysis (CTA)

Matthias Studer*, Aart C. Liefbroer, Jarl E. Mooyaart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Over the past 50 years, family formation trajectories have undergone major changes in the events that occur as well as in the timing and order of these events. Whereas previous studies showed when and how these shifts occur, not much research has been conducted to test why these changes have taken place. This paper tests two possible explanations, namely cultural (secularization) and economic (youth unemployment) change using the Fertility and Family survey of the Netherlands conducted in 2008. We also employed a new method, Competing Trajectories Analysis (CTA), which combines features of sequence analysis and event history analysis, to examine the relationship between secularization and youth unemployment and pathways into adulthood. Our results show that the start of family formation is postponed in times of high secularization and youth unemployment, when pathways including early marriage and parenthood become less popular, and cohabiting without having children becomes more popular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalADVANCES IN LIFE COURSE RESEARCH
Volume36
Early online date1 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Event history analysis
  • Family formation
  • Secularization
  • Sequence analysis
  • Youth unemployment

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