Do children’s life course patterns resemble the parental ones? A multichannel sequence analysis approach on the transmission of life course patterns

Roxana Leu, University of Bremen

The purpose of this study is to identify if a parent to child transmission of life course patterns does occur, in other words it tries to clarify if life course patterns as such get perpetuated across generations. The used data came from the National Study of Family and Households (NSFH). The focus of the study is on young adulthood. For parents and children 4 dimensions corresponding to 3 parallel running sectors of life are analyzed: education, work, family formation including living arrangements and the existence of children. Theoretically 3 types of transmissions are considered plausible: strong transmission, moderated transmission and failed transmission. Multichannel sequence analysis was used in order to deal with the problem of multidimensionality in sequence analysis. Different attributes for computing the needed parent-child distances were looked at, and OM with a self-computed cost matrix was chosen the most fitting approach. Hierarchical cluster analysis was then employed for identifying groups inside the data. The resulting parent and child clusters offer support for all three types of transmissions. This could be considered as proof for the presupposition that a parent to child transmission of life course patterns occurs, and that there are similar patterns that get perpetuated across generations. Yet in order to consolidate and validate these findings the actual distances between the parents and their corresponding children have been computed for each of the resulting clusters and pseudo couples analysis was also performed.

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Presented in Session 16: Biodemography and the life course