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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

Family Living Arrangements in Young Adulthood: A Cross-National Comparative Analysis

Principal researcher

Katrin Schwanitz

Type of research

PhD project


Prof.dr. C.H. Mulder (RUG) and Dr. L. Toulemon (Ined)

Summary of the project

Theproject aims to investigate the causal mechanisms underlying cross-national differences in family living arrangements across Europe. It builds from three key premises. First, analytical levels of the context (national and sub-national) must be recognized and distinguished in shaping differences in family living arrangements. Second, there are critical differences in family living arrangements between social groups, and between men and women. Third, the extent to which individual characteristics influence the realization of family living arrangements may vary by context. Building from these premises, I examine family living arrangements across several European countries in (1) multiple social contexts, (2) from the perspective of different social groups, and (3) by taking into account variability at an intra-national level. To disentangle contextual- and individual-level effects, as well as intra-national level variability, the project proposes a multilevel framework. It is noteworthy that family living arrangements not only pertain to living alone and co-residence of adult children and their parents (either young adults living with their parents or older adults living with their elderly parents), but also to single-parent families, extended families (i.e. living together with relatives other than children or parents and non-relatives), and living with nonrelatives (e.g. house mates sharing accommodation).

Last modified:13 July 2016 11.20 a.m.