Same or opposite? Parent effects on family formation

Anette E. Fasang, Humboldt University of Berlin
Marcel Raab, University of Bamberg

Research about parent effects on family behavior traditionally examines intergenerational transmission: whether children adopt the same family behavior as their parents. In this article, we draw attention to empirical regularities where children follow opposite family formation trajectories as their parents. Such regularities are stable parent effects on family behavior, even though there is no direct intergenerational transmission. We use data from the Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG, N=461 parent-child dyads) and propose an innovative application of multichannel sequence analysis and cluster analysis to analyze family formation trajectories between age 15 and age 40 holistically. Results show clusters of both ‘same’ and ‘opposite’ parent - child family formation. We conclude that, by focusing on average effects, regression-based methods for studying intergenerational transmission may loose sight of regularities where children shape their family formation in opposition to the template observed in their parents.

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Presented in Poster Session 3