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Changing Families Conference - featuring new research from Understanding Society over 4 days of online sessions


We’re hosting a week-long online conference exploring families in the UK. Curated by our Topic Champion for Families, Professor Brienna Perelli-Harris, the week will focus on research on families and partnerships. The mini-conference will run each afternoon from the 22 to 26 March. Each day will follow a particular theme, with paper presentations, keynote speakers and times for discussion.

The Changing Families mini-conference is part of a year of events celebrating 10 Waves of Understanding Society. You can find details of all our 2021 events on our conference website.

The conference is free to attend, but you do need to register in advance. Your conference ticket allows you in to the conference each day, so you can pick and choose which sessions you want to attend - or come along to all of them.

Book your place. Programme Monday 22 March, 3.00 - 5.15: Non-Resident Families

  • Were relationships between children and their non-resident parents affected during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic? Caroline Bryson (LSE)
  • The mental load in separated families. Dr Renee Luthra (University of Essex)
  • The social class position of complex modern families in Understanding Society. Dr Chris Playford (University of Exeter)
  • Poverty, family relationships and children’s subjective wellbeing. Larissa Pople (University of Essex)
  • Discussant, Dr Tina Haux (University of Essex)

Tuesday 23 March, 3.00 - 5.15: Same-Sex Families

  • Keynote speaker Dr Diederik Boertien (Centre d’Estidos Demogràfics, Barcelona).
  • The long-term effect of family support on sleep problems for sexual minorities: evidence from a UK longitudinal study. Andrew Nielson (Brock University)
  • Early labour market outcomes of children in same-sex families: evidence from population data. Silvia Palmaccio (KU Leuven)

Wednesday 24 March, 3.00 - 5.15: Housework and Gender

  • Keynote speaker Professor Man Yee Kan (University of Oxford), Gender division of labour: Paid work, domestic work, and total work in East Asian and Western Societies, 1980s – 2010s, and the declining significance of marriage and parental status in Great Britain, 1992 – 2017.
  • Work less, help out more? The persistence of gender inequality in housework and childcare during UK Covid-19. Anna Zamberlan (University of Trento)
  • Unpaid care work and psychological distress during the first UK lockdown: evidence from Understanding Society. Professor Anne McMunn (UCL)
  • Wage growth predicted by couple division of paid and unpaid work across the UK wage distribution. Dr Niels Blom (University of Bath)

Thursday 25 March, 2.15 - 3.00: Undertanding Society family developments consultation

Understanding Society is currently working on new projects that will help researchers investigate families in the UK. In this session Director of Understanding Society, Professor Michaela Benzeval, will outline the work the Study is doing on pregnancy and early childhood, couples and parents living apart, families across households, and transnational families. This session will also include an introduction to the new family matrix, which will help researchers link families across generations.

3.00 - 4.30: Providing Care

  • Should I care or should I work? The impact of working longer on informal care. Dr Ludovico Carrino (King’s College London)
  • Tracking the mental health of home-carers during the first lockdown: evidence from a nationally representative UK survey. Kelly Reeve (University of Essex)
  • Spousal care and marital quality in later life: a longitudinal analysis. Dr Ursula Henz (LSE)
  • Discussant: Professor Steve Pudney, University of Sheffield

Friday 26 March, 3.00 - 5.30: Insecure Work and Family Relationships

  • Furlough and relationship quality. Dr Shih-Yi Chao (University of Southampton)
  • Families of austerity: welfare cuts and family stress in Great Britain. Dr Gabriele Mari (Erasmus University of Rotterdam)
  • Does family life modify the effect of job security on mental health: a longitudinal analysis. Sukhdeep Kaur (Brock University)
  • Parental socioeconomic status and young Briton’s family expectations: are family structure and educational aspirations mediators of this relationship? Lydia Palumbo (University of Southampton)
  • Job instability and perceptions of employment uncertainty’s effect on fertility outcomes. Brian Buh (Vienna Institute of Demography/ Austrian Academy of Sciences)
  • The future of families after Covid-19? Professor Brienna Perelli-Harris (University of Southampton)

Book a place on any of the days via this link

Read the blog on Changing Families research by Raj Patel, Impact Fellow