The effect of children on men's and women's chances of re-partnering in a European context

K.O. Ivanova, M. Kalmijn, W.J.G. Uunk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This work examines what role children play in the re-partnering process in five European countries (Norway, France, Germany, Romania, and the Russian Federation) by addressing the following research questions: (1) To what extent do men and women differ in their re-partnering chances?; (2) Can gender differences in re-partnering be explained by the presence of children?; (3) How do the custodial arrangements and the child’s age affect the re-partnering chances of men and women? We use the partnership and parenthood histories of the participants in the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey (United Nations, Generations and Gender Programme: Survey Instruments. United Nations, New York/Geneva, 2005) to examine the transition to moving in with a new partner following the dissolution of the first marital union, separately for men and women. The story that emerges is one of similarities in the effects rather than differences. In most countries, men are more likely to re-partner than women. This gender difference can be attributed to the presence of children as our analyses show that childless men and women do not differ in their probability to re-partner. Mothers with resident children are less likely to re-partner than non-mothers and a similar though often non-significant effect of resident children is observed for fathers. In most countries we find that as the child ages, the chances to enter a new union increase. In sum, our study indicates that children are an important factor in re-partnering and a contributor to the documented gender gap in re-partnering, and this holds throughout distinct institutional and cultural settings.
Keywords: Children, Gender differences, Re-partnering, Residence
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-444
JournalEuropean Journal of Population
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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