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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences PedOn Research Family ties

Family ties in the Netherlands and on Curaçao

How does father absence relate to the development of adolescents and young adults?

Looking at the variety of family forms today, we recognize that many young people do not grow up with both their biological parents anymore. Some youth live with only one parent or a stepparent might enter their lives’, and such new family forms might also change again. In this project, we are particularly interested in what it means to grow up without one’s biological father in the household.

Researchers, particularly in Western societies, have studied the (negative) effects of biological father absence for pubertal development and young people’s wellbeing. What is lacking in this work, however, is a comparative perspective that also includes societies where growing up without a father in the household is more common. From these societies, we can learn a lot about whether growing up without father really always is problematic. For this reason, our team includes partners from universities in the Netherlands and on Curaçao and we invite young people and their mothers in both countries to take part in our research.

What is more, we are particularly interested in the views and experiences of the Curaçaoan-Dutch youth in the Netherlands and believe that we can really understand the meaning of father absence in different cultural contexts only if we take into account the perspectives of Dutch, Curaçaoan, and Curaçaoan-Dutch youth. Scientifically, this means that this project adds a valuable cross-cultural perspective to the work on father absence. For society, our project adds cultural knowledge about possible implications of growing up without a biological father for young people's development.

Last modified:28 May 2023 10.43 a.m.
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