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Journal Article

Strings of adulthood: a sequence analysis of young British women's work-family trajectories


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Employment, union formation and childbearing are central processes within young individuals’ transition to adulthood. These processes interact in highly complex ways, and they shape actual life-course trajectories that may be seen as a conceptual unit. In this article we use a methodology to cluster life-course experiences, where all three processes are embedded explicitly, in order to study young women’s trajectories in Great Britain. Drawing on a sample from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), we define life-courses as sequences on a monthly time scale and we apply optimal matching analysis to compute dissimilarities between individuals. We then use standard clustering algorithms and we identify nine distinctive groups of women. Our results are then shown using a new representation of clusters and interpreted in the light of the existing socio-demographic literature on the dynamic work-family link.

Published in

European Journal of Population


23 (3-4):369-388



Statistical Analysis, Labour Market, Family Formation And Dissolution, and Life Course Analysis


no abstract; not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only


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