The Transition to Adulthood in Germany. Results of a Sequential Analysis with Data from the Pairfam Panel Study

Elena von der Lippe , Robert Koch Institute
Felicitas Vogelgesang, Robert Koch Institute
Petra Rattay, Robert Koch Institute

In recent decades, young adulthood has established itself as an independent phase in life course characterized by great heterogeneity with regard to the timing and sequencing of role transitions in terms of education, employment, partner and parental status. Using retrospective event history data collected for the pairfam study (wave 3) we conducted a sequence analysis with monthly information for the age of 18 to 27 on the living arrangement, parental, and activity statuses. For describing typical pathways we built clusters by Optimal Matching. The sample comprises 2000 female and 1771 male participants born 1971-73 and 1981-83. In the two largest clusters, more than 60% of respondents lived in their parents' home at the age of 25; one cluster comprises those who have been in education for a long time, the other those who were early in paid employment. Two clusters include young adults living early on one’s own, and two more clusters started cohabitation early in adulthood (one of them with prolonged education and one with early employment). Three clusters include adults who became parents early in life (early working parents, inactive parents, single parents). In sum, young men live longer in their parents' home, while women start earlier cohabitation and family formation. Furthermore, there is a trend in the younger cohort towards longer education and prolonged parental leave. The exploratory findings illustrate the great diversity between life courses in young adulthood in Germany.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course