Research Programme


Non-marital childbearing project

Brienna Perelli-HarrisMarta StyrcNora Sanchez-Gassen, Mark Lyons-Amos

Project summary

Over the past several decades, childbearing within cohabitation has risen sharply throughout most of Europe, Australia, and the U.S. This project aims to study the diffusion of childbearing within cohabitation using a number of analytic levels and methodological perspectives. The following questions are being explored:

1) Trends: How does fertility differ by union status, and how do these differences change over time? Are there differences by parity, age pattern, or timing? How does the decline in marital fertility contribute to the increase in share of nonmarital births?

2) Explanations: What are the underlying reasons for increasing childbearing within cohabitation? What has produced variation across countries? How do policies impact and/or respond to childbearing within cohabitation? How do societal-level perceptions of cohabitation, marriage, and childbearing differ across countries?

3) Lifecourse trajectories: How do the lifecourse trajectories for women who bear children differ by union status? Are women who give birth within cohabitation more likely to experience changes in family structure? Is childbearing within cohabitation associated with future negative social, emotional, or economic outcomes?

To answer these questions, an innovative mixed-methods strategy is used that 1) analyzes a unique database of harmonized reproductive and union histories, 2) conducts qualitative research into the role of policies and general perspectives on nonmarital childbearing, and 3) examines the Generations and Gender Surveys in comparative perspective. Ultimately, the project aims to develop a new theoretical framework for understanding the diffusion of family change. This research will provide insights into whether lifecourse trajectories are diverging, potentially exacerbating social inequality.


Non-Marital Childbearing Network

 

Project activities

Date Activity Description
15 April 2016 Family Change and Social Inequality Workshop held in Southampton. A workshop co-organised by CPC and the University of Bath; supported by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, and the ESRC. Brienna Perelli-Harris presented “Partnership Patterns in the United States and across Europe: the role of education and country context.
30 November - 1 December 2015 "The link between the divorce revolution and the cohabitation boom" 3rd GGP User Conference, Vienna Paper presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris and co-written by Nora Sanchez Gassen, Ann Berrington, Paulina Galezewska and Jennifer Holland
26 November 2015 Presentation as part of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing Seminar Series, at the University of Oxford. Brienna Perelli-Harris presented a paper title "Focus on Partnerships: Discourses on cohabitation and marriage throughout Europe and Australia".
19-21 October 2015 Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies Annual Meeting held in Dublin.

Perelli-Harris and collaborators presented a panel entitled, “The Consequences of New Living Arrangements in Cross-national Comparison.”

22 August 2015 “The link between partnership and mental well-being: When cohabitation is common, does marriage still matter?” 110th ASA Annual Meeting, Chicago Illinois Paper presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris
4 May 2015 “The link between the divorce revolution and the cohabitation boom” and “Cross-national variation in repartnering across Europe and in the US: The role of individual demographic characteristics” International Seminar on Union Breakdown and Repartnering Around the World, Centre Urbanisation Culture Societe, Montreal Papers presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris, Paulina Galezewska, Nora Sanchez Gassen, Ann Berrington and Jennifer Holland
30 April 2015 “The Link between the Divorce Revolution and the Cohabitation Boom” PAA Annual Meeting 2015, San Diego Paper presented by  Brienna Perelli-Harris and Jennifer Holland
16 March 2015 “Do relationships make you happy? Investigating union formation and positive mental health in Great Britain” CLS Cohort Studies Research Conference 2015, Institute of Education, University of London Paper presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris and Marta Styrc
6 February 2015 Cohabitation trends, policies and practices workshop, Local Government Association, London Workshop organised by Nora Sanchez-Gassen, Brienna Perelli-Harris and CPC
10 November 2014 “Understanding diversity in partnership formation across Europe: Trends, explanations, and consequences”  Institute for Social and Economic Research Seminar, University of Essex Seminar presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris
9 October 2014 “Do relationships make you happy? Investigating union formation and positive mental health in Great Britain” and “The link between the divorce revolution and the cohabitation boom” Family Dynamics, fertility choices and family policy, Oslo, Norway Papers presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris, Ann Berrington, Paulina Galezewska, Jennifer Holland and Nora Sanchez-Gassen
8 September 2014 “The link between the divorce revolution and the cohabitation boom” BSPS Conference 2014, Winchester Paper presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris
25 June 2014 “Cross-national variation in repartnering across Europe and in the US: The role of age patterns of first union formation and dissolution and childbearing” EPC Conference 2014, Budapest, Hungary Paper presented by Paulina Galezewska, Brienna Perelli-Harris and Ann Berrington
4 May 2014 “Universal or Unique? Understanding union formation across Europe and Australia” Rhodes Symposium, Cornell University, New York Lecture presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris
1 May 2014 “To Cohabit or to Marry? Insights from Focus Group Research across Europe and Australia”, “Variation in the Intersection between Partnership and Fertility: A Comparison across Three Cohorts in 16 Countries” and “Pathways to First Birth and the Changing Role of Education in Europe and the United States” Population Association of America Meeting 2014, Boston Papers presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris, Mark Lyons-Amos, Ann Berrington and Julia Mikolai
23 January 2014 “Universal or unique ? Understanding diversity in family formation across Europe and the United States” Centre d’Estudis Demografics 30th Anniversary Lecture Series, Barcelona Lecture presented by Brienna Perelli-Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publications

Perelli-Harris, B. (2015) “Partnership Formation and Dissolution in Western Societies”. In Wright, J.D. et al (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition, Vol 17, Oxford, Elsevier, 545-552.

Perelli-Harris, B. (2014) How similar are Cohabiting and Married Parents? Second Conception risks by Union Type in the United States and Across Europe. European Journal of Population, 30 (4), 437-464.

Perelli-Harris, B. and Bernardi, L. (2015) Exploring social norms around cohabitation: The life course, individualization, and culture. Introduction to Special Collection: “Focus on Partnerships: Discourses on cohabitation and marriage throughout Europe and Australia” 2015. Demographic Research, 33 (25), 701-732.

Perelli-Harris, B., Berrington, A., Sanchez Gassen, N., Galezewska, P. and Holland, J. (2016) Is there a link between the divorce revolution and the cohabitation boom? CPC Working Paper 80, ESRC Centre for Population Change, UK.

Perelli-Harris, B. and Lyons-Amos, M. (2016) Partnership Patterns in the United States and across Europe: The Role of Education and Country Context. Social Forces, 95 (1), 251-282.

Perelli-Harris, B. and Lyons-Amos, M. (2015) Changes in partnership patterns across the life course: An examination of 14 countries in Europe and the United States. Demographic Research, 33 (6), 145-178.

Perelli-Harris, B. and Lyons-Amos, M. (2014) Partnership patterns in the United States and across Europe: "Diverging destinies" or "diverging contexts"? CPC Working Paper 53, ESRC Centre for Population Change, UK.

Perelli-Harris, B., Mynarska, M., Berrington, A., Evans, A., Berghammer, C., Isupova, O., Keizer, R., Klaerner, A., Lappegard, T. and Vignoli, T. (2014) Towards a new understanding of cohabitation: Insights from focus group research across Europe and Australia. Demographic Research, 31, 1043-1078.

Raymo, J.M., Carlso, M., Van Orman, A., Lim, S-J., Perelli-Harris, B. and Iwasawa, M. (2015) Educational differences in early childbearing: A cross-national comparative study. Demographic Research, 33 (3) 65-92.

Sanchez Gassen, N. and Perelli-Harris, B. (2014) The increase in cohabitation and the role of marital status in family policies: A comparison of 12 European countries. CPC Working Paper 52, ESRC Centre for Population Change, UK.

Sanchez Gassen, N. and Perelli-Harris, B. (2015) The increase in cohabitation and the role of marital status in family policies: a comparison of 12 European countries. CPC Briefing Paper 24, ESRC Centre for Population Change, UK.

Sanchez Gassen, N and Perelli-Harris, B. (2015) The increase in cohabitation and the role of union status in family policies: A comparison of 12 European countries. Journal of European Social Policy, 25 (4), 431-449.

 

Media activities

You can browse all CPC media outputs and population-related articles from CPC members on our Scoop.it! page.