Chapter 16: Young adults

In early adulthood, one can detect simultaneities and transitions at different stages: when finishing the first vocational training, when integrating into the labour market, in partnership relations and when starting a family. Existing studies, which centre on the connection between biographical planning and biographical actions in these spheres of life as well as on their mutual dependencies, will have to be evaluated for this purpose. Of particular interest is (a) the question whether insecurities with career management affect childbearing preferences, and (b) whether the time gap between career entry and starting a family is widening. Can only one-dimensional shifts (delayed career entry and starting a family later) be empirically observed or are different constellations of transitions to be found? By what are they determined? Is it possible to determine the effects of the upheaval in the production and social model by cohort analyses?

On the one hand, the analysis aims to describe the gaps between career entry and starting a family; on the other hand, different constellations of career entry-starting a family-sequences have to be developed. For this purpose, longitudinal section analyses are particularly suitable.

At first, the durations between career entry and starting a family will be described by means of survival functions. It will have to be examined as to how far cohort analyses can be employed here. In order to develop types of sequences including gaps, sequence analyses and optimal matching have to be applied. Sequences are stringing together certain phases. They form a sequence of events as in the life course. By using sequence data analysis and later optimal matching, we take into account the way elements are stringed together as well as the simultaneities of events and their individual duration.


Results (German)
Schmidt, Tanja (2009): Methodenbericht zur Analyse des Übergangs ins Erwachsenenalter mit dem SOEP. soeb-Arbeitspapier 2009-5 PDF

Responsibility for this chapter

Tanja Schmidt, Schmidt Sozialforschung