Sequence Analysis As a Tool for Family Demography

Nicola Barban, University of Essex
Maria Sironi, University College London

In this work we will describe the development of sequence analysis techniques to investigate the process of family formation and dissolution. Many aspects of family trajectories have been analyzed individually, without taking into account the interrelation among events. However, it is necessary to look at the process of union formation and the subsequent family pathways from a holistic point of view. Sequence analysis is therefore the appropriate tool to analyze family histories, taking into account timing, sequencing, and duration of events. We will discuss the way in which sequence analysis has been used so far in family demography, and we will illustrate the most relevant developments and innovative procedures relative to this technique. Moreover, family change has been very different in different contexts. Hence, we will use data from the European Social Survey to illustrate an empirical application of sequence analysis, and we will describe family trajectories across European countries.

Presented in Session 1069: Data and Methods