CLIC - Comparative Life Course and Inequality Research Centre > Projects > FamiliesAndSocieties

Family dynamics and inequalities in children's life chances

Research Focus

The main objective of this project is the analysis of the effects of family forms and dynamics on children’s short- and long-term welfare. In doing so, the work package also investigates how families contribute to the inter-generational reproduction of inequality. 

Project Goals

We address the main objective by analysing five partial ones:

  1. Analyze effects of various forms of family configurations. Most studies have analyzed the effects of experiencing parental divorce or growing up in a single family. However, as family forms are becoming more complex, there is increasing need to understand the effects of this family diversity on children’s lives.
  2. Analyze the causal effects of family forms and dynamics. Although a lot is known about the associations between family forms and dynamics and children’s outcomes, a lot remains to be learned about causal effects of these forms and dynamics on children’s lives. We use high-quality data accompanied by advanced methodology to analyze these causal effects.
  3. Analyze parenting and social relationships in family diversity. How social relations and care are arranged in diversifying families remains a question of great interest. We analyze how family forms and dynamics affect the relationships between children and their parents and grand-parents.
  4. Analyze heterogeneity of effects in different cultural and socioeconomic groups. The majority of the existing studies focus on homogeneous populations or average effects over diverse ones. We analyse whether some socioeconomic or cultural groups are better endowed in dealing with the consequences of different family forms and dynamics


Principal Investigators

Prof. Fabrizio Bernardi

Prof. Juho Härkönen



This project is a work-package within a large FP7 project (FamiliesAndSocieties) 2013-2017. It is co-directed with Juho Härkönen (Stockholm University)

Researchers from seven European universities or research centers (Antwerp University, Stockholm University, EUI, UNED, Padova university, London Schoool of Economics, Population Research Institute Väestöliitto) participate in it.

Page last updated on 05 September 2019