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  • 1.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Duntava, Aija
    Life-table representations of family dynamics in the 21st century2017In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 37, p. 1081-1229, article id 35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND A key resource for cross-national comparative research on family dynamics (Andersson and Philipov 2002) is seriously outdated. OBJECTIVE AND METHODS We provide an update of the life-table estimates by Andersson and Philipov (2002) based on data from the Generations and Gender Surveys and other related surveys in 18 countries across Europe and the United States. RESULTS Life-table estimates of family formation of women and men, union dynamics, and children's experience of family disruption and family formation demonstrate the degree of variation in family dynamics across countries. CONCLUSIONS Our findings provide the basis for more in-depth research on the causes and consequences of differences in family dynamics across contexts. CONTRIBUTION The Appendix of the current manuscript is a new resource for comparative research on family dynamics in the early 21st century.

  • 2.
    Henz, Ursula
    et al.
    London School of Economics.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Union Stability and Stepfamily Fertility in Austria, Finland, France & West Germany2005In: European Journal of Population, ISSN 0168-6577, E-ISSN 1572-9885, Vol. 21, p. 3-29Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 3. Holland, Jennifer A.
    et al.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Stepfamily childbearing in Sweden: Quantum and tempo effects, 1950-992011In: Population Studies, ISSN 0032-4728, E-ISSN 1477-4747, Vol. 65, no 1, p. 115-128Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several studies have demonstrated that stepfamily couples have a higher risk of childbearing than couples in a stable union with the same total number of children. Analysing retrospective data from a nationally representative sample of Swedish adults, we find that the risk of a second or third birth is higher when it is the first or second child in a new union. We also find a faster pace of childbearing after stepfamily formation than after a shared birth. The risk of a second birth (in total) is only a little higher in the first two years after stepfamily formation than in the first two years after a shared birth, and thereafter the risk is lower for stepfamilies. The risk of a third birth (in total) is particularly high early in the stepfamily union and remains higher than that of couples with two shared children for at least five years. The stepfamily difference was lower after than before 1980, when the Swedish government introduced parental leave incentives for short birth intervals.

  • 4. Kennedy, Sheela
    et al.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Children's experiences of family disruption in Sweden: Differentials by parent education over three decades2010In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 23, no 17, p. 479-507Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines the living arrangements of Swedish children from 1970 through 1999 using the Level of Living Survey. Sweden, with low levels of economic inequality and a generous welfare state, provides an important context for studying socioeconomic differentials in family structure. We find that, although differences by parent education in non-marital childbearing are substantial and persistent, cohabiting childbearing is common even among highly educated Swedish parents. Educational differences in family instability were small during the 1970s, but increased over time as a result of rising union disruption among less-educated parents (secondary graduates or less). Children in more advantaged families experienced substantially less change in family structure and instability over the study period. Although cohabiting parents were more likely to separate than parents married at the child's birth, differences were greater for the less-educated. Data limitations precluded investigating these differences across time. We conclude that educational differences in children's living arrangements in Sweden have grown, but remain small in international comparisons.

  • 5.
    Lappegard, Trude
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Oslo, Norway; Statistics Norway, Norway.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA.
    Intergenerational Transmission of Multipartner Fertility2018In: Demography, ISSN 0070-3370, E-ISSN 1533-7790, Vol. 55, no 6, p. 2205-2228Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using data from administrative registers for the period 1970-2007 in Norway and Sweden, we investigate the intergenerational transmission of multipartner fertility. We find that men and women with half-siblings are more likely to have children with more than one partner. The differences are greater for those with younger versus older half-siblings, consistent with the additional influence of parental separation that may not arise when one has only older half-siblings. The additional risk for those with both older and younger half-siblings suggests that complexity in childhood family relationships also contributes to multipartner fertility. Only a small part of the intergenerational association is accounted for by education in the first and second generations. The association is to some extent gendered. Half-siblings are associated with a greater risk of women having children with a new partner in comparison with men. In particular, maternal half-siblings are more strongly associated with multipartner fertility than paternal half-siblings only for women.

  • 6. Rijken, Arieke
    et al.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Partners’ relationship quality and childbearing2011In: Social Science Research, ISSN 0049-089X, E-ISSN 1096-0317, Vol. 40, no 2, p. 485-497Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines the influence of partner relationship quality on childbearing. We are innovative in using relationship quality reports from both partners, drawing on the first and second wave of the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study. Thus, we can identify potential effects of discordant perceptions of the relationship on childbearing. We also pose a new hypothesis on the direction of the effect of relationship quality on fertility, predicting that medium levels of relationship quality result in the highest childbearing rates. Our results indicate that only women’s perceptions of relationship quality influence a first birth, whereas women’s and men’s perceptions affect second births. We do not find unique effects of disagreement in assessments of relationship quality; effects of partners’ perceptions are additive. Women reporting medium levels of relationship quality are most likely to have a(nother) child, whereas men with medium and high quality relationships are most likely to have a second child.

  • 7.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
    Children, Value of2015In: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 3 / [ed] James D. Wright, Elsevier, 2015, 2, p. 498-501Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In demography, the value of children refers most often to the benefits parents receive from having and rearing children. Benefits may accrue from the children themselves, from the experience of rearing them, or from the responses of kin, community, and society at large. Children also entail costs for parents and the value of children sometimes refers to their net value (benefits less costs). Benefits and costs of children are shaped by the economic conditions of life, forms of social organization, and cultural beliefs and practices. Studies using surveys to measure the value of children report variation in values across societies; by socioeconomic status; between women and men; for first, second, and higher order births; and for daughters versus sons. Cultural foundations for the value of children have also been explored. The net value of children underlies parents' desires for children which, in combination with their ability to achieve those desires, influences their decisions to have children and how many children they have.

  • 8.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Wisconsin‐Madison, USA.
    Family Complexity and Kinship2017In: Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences / [ed] Robert Scott, Marlis Buchmann, John Wiley & Sons, 2017Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Increases in parental cohabitation, separation or divorce, and re‐partnering or remarriage have generated an increase in the complexity of family and kinship ties. As a result, many scholars claim that family and kinship have become voluntary, with rights and obligations to be negotiated in the same way as those between friends and neighbors. This essay briefly reviews the demographic trends that have produced complex families and kin, and their projections into the future. It argues that kinship structures arising from stable nuclear family and kin networks provide a template for the organization of more complex family ties. Although a considerable degree of voluntariness can be found in ties among complex families and kin, rights and obligations remain structured in terms of blood and marriage, and are also strongly influenced by periods of coresidence. Guidelines do exist for relationships in complex families and kinship networks, and they can be used to further institutional arrangements that fit the circumstances of increasingly diverse types of families and kin.

  • 9.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Wisconsin Madison, USA.
    Family Complexity in Europe2014In: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, ISSN 0002-7162, E-ISSN 1552-3349, Vol. 654, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA.
    Family Size Preferences2015In: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Volume 8 / [ed] James D. Wright, Elsevier, 2015, 2, p. 805-808Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Family size preferences may be represented by family size desires, intentions, expectations, and ideals. Desired family size is the number of children wanted in one's lifetime and is viewed as a measure of the demand for children which, in combination with the supply of children and contraception determines the number of children born. Family size desires are conceptually and empirically distinct from family size intentions, expectations, and ideals. Desires, intentions, and expectations are often uncertain and change over the life course in response to new experiences and conditions. Ideals are shaped by the larger society and therefore change more slowly. Because childbearing is a two-person event, desires and intentions of sexual partners must be considered. As predictors of aggregate or individual fertility, family size desires must be adjusted to take into account partners' desires and changes over the life course, as well as fecundity, fertility control, and other constraints on individual behavior or outcomes.

  • 11.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Persistence and Change in the Standard Family Life Course2011Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Step-families and Childbearing Desires in Europe2004In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. S3, p. 117-134Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Bernhardt, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Education, values and cohabitation in Sweden2010In: Marriage and Family Review, ISSN 0149-4929, E-ISSN 1540-9635, Vol. 46, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Bernhardt, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Education, Values and Cohabitation in Sweden2010In: Marriage and Family Review, ISSN 0149-4929, E-ISSN 1540-9635, Vol. 46, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Carlson, Marcia
    University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Lappegård, Trude
    Statistics Norway.
    Childbearing across Partnerships: Conceptual and Methodological Issues2010Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Eriksson, Helen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Parental Separation in Sweden 1968-20072010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Eriksson, Helen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Parental Separation in Sweden 1968-2007: New Estimates from Administrative Registers2010Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 18.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Eriksson, Helen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Register-based estimates of parents' coresidence in Sweden, 1969-20072013In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 29, p. 1153-1186Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Many of the dramatic changes in family formation and dissolution observed in wealthy countries over the past 60 years are tracked through vital statistics or censuses. The signature change in family behavior -- non-marital cohabitation -- is not, however, registered in most settings.

    Objective: We evaluate the quality of new register-based estimates of parents' union status at birth and of separation during the childrearing years.

    Methods: Parents of a common child are identified through the Multi-Generation Register that links each child to each parent and therefore each parent to each other. The Total Population Register identifies the property at which each parent is registered at the end of each year. We use the five-year censuses 1960-1990 as one standard of comparison because the censuses identify the dwelling unit for each parent on the census date.

    Results: Property-based estimates of parents' coresidence compare very well to census reports. Register-based estimates are virtually identical with those produced from the 1992 Swedish Fertility and Family Survey; differences between register estimates and those produced from the 1991 and 2000 Level of Living Survey can be explained by differences in measurement of marriage and cohabitation.

    Conclusions: Estimates of parents' cohabitation based on annual, property-level registration are of sufficient quality for their use in substantive analyses of union status at birth and parents' separation in Sweden.

    Comments: Although register-based estimates of parents' coresidence at a child's birth or afterwards can be generated only for a select group of countries, their use can be fruitful for understanding more general processes of family change. Centralized administrative registers exist in many countries but have not been made fully available for research therefore losing much of the potential value.

  • 19.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Hoem, Jan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Godecker, Amy
    Selection processes in stepfamily fertilit1999Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Hoem, Jan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Vikat, Andres
    UN Economic Commission for Europe, Switzerland.
    Prskawetz, Alexia
    Buber, I.
    Toulemon, Laurent
    Institut national d´études démographiques (INED), France.
    Henz, U.
    Godecker, A.
    Kantorová, V.
    Childbearing in stepfamilies: how parity matter2002In: Dynamics of fertility and partnership in Europe: Insights and lessons from comparative research / [ed] Klijzing, Erik. Corijn, Martine., New York ; Geneva: United Nations.: United Nations. Economic Commission for Europe. , 2002, 2, p. 87-99Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigate potential effects of stepfamily status on births in unions in Austria, Finland, France, and West Germany. In all four countries, we find support for the value of a first union birth to signal the couple’s commitment. Birth rates are higher if the couple has no shared children, net of their total (hers + his) parity. Unexpectedly, couples in which one of the partners is not a parent had lower birth risks than those in which both partners brought children to their union, contrary to the value of a first birth to establish parental status. We also find support for the value of a second shared birth to provide a full sibling. Net of their combined parity, stepfamily couples with one shared child had a higher risk than families without stepchildren of having a second shared birth. Some of these results were not consistent in analyses of men’s reports, in part due to the smaller male samples and, possibly, to the poorer reports of men about their children from previous unions.

  • 21.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Lappegard, Trude
    Carlson, Marcia
    Evans, Ann
    Gray, Edith
    Childbearing Across Partnerships in Australia, the United States, Norway, and Sweden2014In: Demography, ISSN 0070-3370, E-ISSN 1533-7790, Vol. 51, no 2, p. 485-508Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article compares mothers' experience of having children with more than one partner in two liberal welfare regimes (the United States and Australia) and two social democratic regimes (Sweden and Norway). We use survey-based union and birth histories in Australia and the United States and data from national population registers in Norway and Sweden to estimate the likelihood of experiencing childbearing across partnerships at any point in the childbearing career. We find that births with new partners constitute a substantial proportion of all births in each country we study. Despite quite different arrangements for social welfare, the determinants of childbearing across partnerships are very similar. Women who had their first birth at a very young age or who are less well-educated are most likely to have children with different partners. The educational gradient in childbearing across partnerships is also consistently negative across countries, particularly in contrast to educational gradients in childbearing with the same partner. The risk of childbearing across partnerships increased dramatically in all countries from the 1980s to the 2000s, and educational differences also increased, again, in both liberal and social democratic welfare regimes.

  • 22.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Lappegård, Trude
    Statistics Norway.
    Carlson, Marcia
    University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Evans, Ann
    Australian National University.
    Gray, Edith
    Australian National University.
    Childbearing across Partnerships in the U.S., Australia and Scandinavia2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 23.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    McLanahan, Sara S.
    Reflections on "Family Structure and Child Well-Being: Economic Resources vs. Parental Socialization"2012In: Social Forces, ISSN 0037-7732, E-ISSN 1534-7605, Vol. 91, no 1, p. 45-53Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
    Winkler-Dvorak, Maria
    Kennedy, Sheela
    The Standard Family Life Course: An Assessment of Variability in Life Course Pathways2013In: Negotiating the Life Course: Stability and Change in Life Pathways / [ed] Ann Evans, Janeen Baxter, Springer, 2013, p. 35-52Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite dramatic changes in family life over the past several decades, survey data demonstrate that a ‘standard’ family life course remains a goal for the vast majority. The ideal family life course is to have a stable partnership with two or more children, and to have all of one’s children with the same partner. Achievement of a standard family life course may, however, depend on the opportunities and constraints encountered along one’s life path, in particular those associated with the pursuit and attainment of higher education. Analyses of survey data from France, Sweden and the United States document the family experiences to age 40 of persons born in the 1950s. Overall, about half of the cohorts had experienced a standard family life course. For women, education had both positive and negative influences – greater childlessness but more stable childbearing unions. For French and Swedish men, fatherhood and union stability were both associated with higher education. Educational differences in family transitions – especially childbearing out of union and dissolution of unions with children – are much greater in the U.S. than in the other countries, resulting in a significant educational gap in the likelihood of achieving a standard family life course that is not observed in Sweden or France.

  • 25.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Winkler-Dvorak, Maria
    Spielauer, Martin
    Prskawetz, Alexia
    Union Instability as an Engine of Fertility? A Microsimulation Model for France2012In: Demography, ISSN 0070-3370, E-ISSN 1533-7790, Vol. 49, no 1, p. 175-195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Opportunities for conceiving and bearing children are fewer when unions are not formed or are dissolved during the childbearing years. At the same time, union instability produces a pool of persons who may enter new partnerships and have additional children in stepfamilies. The balance between these two opposing forces and their implications for fertility may depend on the timing of union formation and parenthood. In this article, we estimate models of childbearing, union formation, and union dissolution for female respondents to the 1999 French Etude de l’Histoire Familiale. Model parameters are applied in microsimulations of completed family size. We find that a population of women whose first unions dissolve during the childbearing years will end up with smaller families, on average, than a population in which all unions remain intact. Because new partnerships encourage higher parity progressions, repartnering minimizes the fertility gap between populations with and those without union dissolution. Differences between the two populations are much smaller when family formation is postponed—that is, when union formation and dissolution or first birth occurs after age 30, or when couples delay childbearing after union formation.

  • 26.
    Vikat, Andres
    et al.
    UN Economic Commission for Europe, Switzerland.
    Thomson, Elizabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Hoem, Jan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Stepfamily fertility in contemporary Sweden: The Impact of Childbearing before theCurrent Union1999In: Population Studies, ISSN 0032-4728, E-ISSN 1477-4747, Vol. 53, no 2, p. 211-225Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We focus on the fertility of Swedish men and women who lived in a consensual or marital union in the 1970s and 1980s, and where at least one of the partners had children before they entered that union. Couples without any children before the current union were included for contrast. We find clear evidence that couples wanted a shared biological child, essentially regardless of how many children (if any) they had before their current union. The shared child seems to have served to demonstrate commitment to the union, as did its conversion into a formal marriage. We have not found much support for the hypothesis that our respondents sought to enter parenthood to attain adult status. A second birth might have been valued because it provided a sibling for the first child - a half-sibling acting as a substitute for a full sibling - but our evidence for such effects is contradictory. Our analysis makes it very clear that parity progression depends on whose parity we consider.

1 - 26 of 26
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