The Changing Shape of Ties in European Families: Profiles and Intentions of LAT Couples

Luis Ayusio Sanchez, University of Málaga
Ana Goldani, Princeton University

Globally, families have undergone dramatic changes produced by high rates of divorce, cohabitation, unwed motherhood, growing same sex relationships, the (re) emergence of step families and working mothers, and a sharp rise in the number of single person households, where once married-couple households were the norm. There also has been a large-scale and steady historical growth trend in the number of people living alone (singledom) and in living-apart-together arrangements (LAT). Based on data from the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS), a cross-national comparative, retrospective and prospective study of the dynamics of family relationships in industrialized countries, we discover a diversity of couple arrangements which vary widely among European countries and which seem to be influenced by the dominant cultural model of marriage in each country. We also find LAT relationships among all age groups and oftentimes as long term strategies among couples, even among those planning to have children.

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Presented in Session 56: Non-Marital and Diverse Family Forms