• New publication: Ties to non-resident family, internal migration and immobility by Clara Mulder @FRW_RUG – part of our special collection in @DemographicRes

New publication by Clara H Mulder in Demographic Research titled ‘Putting family centre stage: Ties to non-resident family, internal migration, and immobility.’

In this paper, Mulder proposes a novel perspective and presents a research agenda to advance knowledge on the role of families outside the household for internal migration and immobility.

Working with the premise that geographic proximity is crucial to family support, Mulder extends cost-benefit approaches of migration to include ties to family living outside the household. Mulder persuasively argues how spatial mobility and immobility are related to the linked lives of family members, and how these vary across individuals, life course stages and contexts. Without doubt, Mulder´s contribution traces the path to future researchers who aim to unveil the relevant associations and the underlying mechanisms that link family lives with spatial mobility behaviour and outcomes.

This publication is part of the Special Collection ‘Spatial Mobility, Family Dynamics and Gender Relations,’ organized by Guest Editors Sergi Vidal (Centre for Demographic Studies) and Johannes Huinink (University of Bremen).

The collection of papers addresses relevant intersections across three interrelated areas – spatial mobility, family life courses and contexts, and gender relations. It revisits these associations offering new evidence from longitudinal data collections, showcasing state-of-the-art analytical methods to obtain better estimates of the associations, and expanding research horizons by identifying under-researched areas and proposing new research perspectives.

More papers of this collection are coming out soon!

  • You can find Clara H Mulder’s publication (in open access) here.

• Moving home not a major determinant of #children´s academic performance, but contexts matter – new research in LLCS

New paper (with Janeen Baxter) in Longitudinal and Life Course Studies titled ‘Residential relocations and academic performance of Australian children: A longitudinal analysis.’
Together with Professor Janeen Baxter, I use data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) and the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) to examine the associations between residential relocations and academic performance.

Our findings indicate that, under certain conditions, residential relocations are moderately associated with school performance. Results showed that children who relocate often (3 or more times) display worse school performance, but this association is explained by characteristics of the home and family context. In contrast children who relocate moderately (1-2 times) display better school performance after controlling for other things.Overall, while changing residence is not in itself a major determinant of academic performance, the contexts and environments where children are embedded matter. Relocations that are detrimental for academic performance are embedded in contexts of disadvantage, suggesting that policies aimed at supporting disadvantaged families may widely benefit children’s cognitive development.

You can find their journal paper here and a pre-publication here

•New research on internal migration over the life course across cohorts in Germany on-line in ALCR – Check now the free e-offprint

The structure of the transition to adulthood has profoundly changed in recent decades, in ways that have affected the relevance of internal migration for the individual life course.

In my new research article titled “Internal migration over young adult life courses: Continuities and changes across cohorts in West Germany” (in Advances in Life Course Research; with Katharina Lutz), I adopt a paradigm that examines the life course holistically to portray internal migration as part of unfolding individual life courses during the young adulthood, analyzing stability and change across socio-historical contexts.

We first address the question of whether the structure of family and occupational life courses intersect with internal migration processes at early adult ages for men and women born in 1939-41, 1949-51, 1964 and 1971. We then establish how socio-historical transformations are reflected in the life course pathways of internal migrants. We  accomplish this by analyzing key features of sequences of monthly records of life events between the ages of 16 and 30 from the German Life History Study.

Results from our analyses reveal that the structure of individual life courses intersects with internal migration experiences in early adulthood. These differences have increased over time and are more apparent in the labour market trajectory than in the family trajectory. In particular, longer education episodes, fewer and shorter employment episodes, and fewer or later family-related episodes associate more with internal migration than lack thereof over the life course, and across recent generations.

We also find a relevant diversity in internal migrants’ trajectories, which reflects the complex ways in which young adults negotiate life courses, and it aligns with the generalized protraction of school-to-work transitions and the delay of family projects across birth cohorts.

Our research adds to recent studies that underline the value of situating migration events in the wider biographical and structural contexts. Findings contribute to map in efficient ways the full complexity of individual life courses.

Free e-offprint available here until May 25, 2018.

•New research on the associations between fertility intentions and residential relocations on-line now in Demography

The timing of residential relocations and childbearing are strongly interrelated. An explanation for this association suggests that if homes and neighborhoods are not perceived as adequate for childrearing, couples will adjust either their residential situation or their family plans within the given financial resources of the household.

In my new research article titled “Fertility Intentions and Residential Relocations” (with Johannes Huinink and Michael Feldhaus), I shed more light on how relocations are related to fertility processes, in anticipating conceptions, by examining the association between fertility intentions and residential mobility (by relocation distance).

Using data from two birth cohorts (aged 24–28 and 34–38 in the first survey wave) of the German Family Panel (pairfam) and event history analysis, bivariate analyses show that coupled individuals relocated at a higher rate if they intended to have a(nother) child. We also find substantial heterogeneity according to individuals’ age and parental status, particularly for outside-town relocations. Childless individuals of average age at family formation—a highly mobile group—relocated at a lower rate if they intended to have a child. In contrast, older individuals who already had children—the least-mobile group—relocated at a higher rate if they intended to have another child. Multivariate analyses show that these associations are largely due to adjustments in housing and other living conditions.

Our results suggest that anticipatory relocations (before conception) to adapt to growing household size are importantly nuanced by the opportunities and rationales of couples to adjust their living conditions over the life course. Our research contributes to the understanding of residential mobility as a by-product of fertility decisions and, more broadly, evidences that intentions matter and need to be considered in the analysis of family life courses.

See more results here

Free e-offprint available here until mid-August 2017.

•Change of Affiliation – Centre for Demographic Studies, Barcelona

In late June, I left sunny Brisbane to take up an appointment at the Centre for Demographic Studies (CED, in Catalan initials) in the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona as a Ramon y Cajal Research Fellow. Additionally, I will also lecture and do collaborative research in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Universitat Pompeu Frabra (Barcelona).

See the contact section for address details.

•“Supporting Teen Families” report out now

In Australia, as in most other developed countries, adolescent pregnancy and parenthood remain a core social and public health concern. Concerning education, most teenage parents obtain systematically lower school grades or are school dropouts, which substantially limits their capacity to secure well-paid and stable employment over the life course. Consequently, reliance on welfare dependency is higher amongst teen parents, with intergenerational consequences for the transmission of disadvantage to children.

In the comprehensive report “Supporting Teen Families”, Heidi Hoffmann and I review the situation and context of Australian teenage pregnancy and parenthood, and outlines some of the challenges and barriers teenage parents face before and after childbirth. The report additionally scrutiny social intervention programs that are best practices in supporting teenage parents by preventing disorders and enhancing competences, with a particular focus on educational outcomes.

This report is part of the preparatory work for the Pathways to Parenthood (P2P) project, which is done in collaboration with community service providers, and involves the design and implementation of a pilot study to develop a social intervention that supports teenage mothers to reconnect with education.

• Symposium „Spatial Mobility, Families and Gender Inequality in the Labour Market“, 28th-29th March 2017 in Bremen (Germany)

Gender inequalities permeate household relocation and mobility decisions and outcomes. Compared to men, women cover shorter commuting distances, are less likely to lead long-distance household relocations for a job, and their careers benefit little when this happens.

Together with Johannes Huinink and Tim Schröder, I am organizing a one-and-half day symposium that addresses relevant underresearched dimensions of the association between the spatial mobility of families and gender-based labour market inequality. The symposium program consists of twelve presentations delivered by authoritative figures in the field. You can find the symposium program here.

The one-and-half day symposium will be held at the Teerhof Guesthouse – University of Bremen (Germany) on the 28th-29th March 2017. The event is open to the public and there are no fees associated with the participation, however seats are limited. Advance registration is requested. Please contact me at s.vidal@uq.edu.au or Daniela Hög at hoeg@uni-bremen.de

• New research on a cross-national comparison of couples’ long-distance relocations on-line now in Demographic Research

New research paper entitled “Family migration in a cross-national perspective: The importance of within-couple employment arrangements in Australia, Britain, Germany, and Sweden” in collaboration with Philipp Lersch (University of Cologne), Maria Brandén (University of Linköping and University of Stockholm), and Francisco Perales (University of Queensland) is now published on-line in Demographic Research.

Migration rates of dual-earner couples are lower than those of male-breadwinner couples. We revisit this issue using a cross-national comparative perspective and examine heterogeneity in the role of female employment in couple relocations. Using harmonised longitudinal data from four large-scale datasets from Australia, Britain, Germany, and Sweden, covering the 1992-2011 period, we find that male-breadwinner couples migrate more often than dual-earner couples in all countries, suggesting that traditional gender structures affecting family migration operate across very different contexts. We also find cross-country differences in the estimated effects of different sorts of absolute and relative partner resources on family migration. See more results here

• New research on homeownership configurations within couples on-line now in Demographic Research

New research on “My House or our Home? Transitions into Sole Homeownership in British Couples” in collaboration with Philipp Lersch (University of Cologne) is now published online in Demographic Research.

In this study we challenge the assumption that both partners in couples own their homes jointly, and examine the individual ownership configurations within couples in Britain. Using longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey (1992–2008) and the UK Household Longitudinal Study (2010–2011), we find that 8% of partnered individuals in owner-occupancy are sole homeowners. Despite many individuals become sole homeowners at union formation by remaining the owner of a pre-union home, a substantial share of partnered individuals become sole-homeowners during their unions. See more results here

• Training workshop in Sequence Analysis at ISSR in November 2016

Together with Dr. Melanie Spallek, I am organizing a two-day training workshop entitled “Introduction to Sequence Analysis” which will be held in ISSR (The University of Queensland – Long Pocket Campus) on the 2nd – 3rd November 2016.

The purpose of the training workshop is to introduce participants to the foundations of categorical sequence data, present and discuss elementary statistical techniques and strategies for the analysis of categorical sequence data, and provide a wide range of real data applications using a complex longitudinal dataset.

We have invited Dr. Christian Brzinsky-Fay to deliver the workshop. Dr. Brzinsky-Fay is research Fellow at the Berlin Social Science Center (Leibnitz Institute), and holds a Ph.D. in Social Policy from the University of Tampere (Finland).

For more information, click here