Strand: The early stages of the life course
Young adulthood is a crucial life phase in which men and women take decisions in the family and work domains that have far-reaching consequences for their future life courses. NIDI research on the life courses of young adults takes both the micro- and the macro-context of demographic decisions into account and focuses on the processes of leaving home, union formation, parenthood and divorce.
A first line of research studies the individual-level determinants and consequences of the timing and sequencing of life-course transitions during young adulthood. This research benefits in particular from the availability of long-term panel data from the Panel Study of the Social Integration of Young Adults in the Netherlands (PSIN). This dataset is used in an international EU 7th Framework project led by the Vienna Institute for Demography on a comparative analysis of reproductive decision-making in a macro-micro perspective (REPRO).
Another line of research is executed in collaboration with researchers from the Department of Social Research Methodology of the VU University of Amsterdam (VU). Within this line of research emphasis is placed on the parents' influence on the demographic decisions of their children. Intergenerational transmission offers good opportunities to increase our understanding of the ways in which the lives of parents and children are linked. Multi-actor data, like those available in the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (NKPS), are used to study this issue.
Finally there is an international dimension to this theme where the social context of demographic behaviour is of key relevance. This context is also central in a module with questions on the organisation of the life course, which has been incorporated in the 2006 European Social Survey (ESS). A consortium of research institutes coordinated by NIDI was awarded a grant from the EUROCORES Human Values, Institutions and Behaviour programme of the European Science Foundation (ESF) to analyse cross-European differences in demographic norms and behaviour with sophisticated multi-level models.