On Different Paths: Precursors and Outcomes of Pathways into Adulthood in Hungary

Lívia Murinkó, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

In the presentation, we analyse the process of the transition to adulthood in contemporary Hungary. We aim at identifying the typical pathways of the transition to adulthood, describing them in terms of role transitions, as well as regarding the socio-economic background and outcomes of the different pathways. In order to do so, we regard the transition to adulthood as a multi-dimensional and dynamic process.

We use longitudinal data from four waves of the Hungarian Generations and Gender Survey (2001–2012). We follow the 19811983 birth cohort between ages 18–20 and 29–31. The roles that are usually associated with the transition to adulthood were measured with the same dummy variables in each wave: participation in full-time education, being employed, living together with one or both parents, living with a partner or spouse, being a parent. The method of two-step latent class analysis was used.

Our results indicate that the transitory period between adolescence and adulthood can be characterised by quite different role configurations and it is not a uniform phase of the life course. Four different pathways were identified. The most common one is characterized by prolonged education and delayed family formation (43%). 24% of young people become employed early and form their own family late; 18% belongs to the “early family formation” group. Interestingly, the pathway that resembles the traditional, linear model of transition to adulthood the most (educated pathway with family) is the least frequent (15%). The four different pathways differ regarding their precursors and outcomes. Our results suggest that both becoming independent “too early” and “being stuck” in the postadolescent life phase may be associated with social disadvantage.

Presented in Session 120: Transitions to Adulthood