Vulnerability of families with children: experts’ opinions about the future and what families think about it

Riederer, B., Philipov, D., & Rengs, B. (2017). Vulnerability of families with children: experts’ opinions about the future and what families think about it. Families and Societies Management Team , Stockholm, Sweden.

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Project: Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations (FamiliesAndSocieties, FP7 320116)


Building upon results of prior focus group research, the present study employs online surveys about possible future developments of the vulnerability of families with children in Europe. In addition, respondents assessed the relevance of societal factors influencing future family well-being and the effectiveness of ten selected policy measures in preventing the intergenerational transfer of vulnerability. One survey was directed at scientists and practitioners who are family experts (N=175). Another survey aimed at exploring the thoughts of parents themselves (N=1,343). Results show that experts are rather pessimistic and even expect vulnerability to increase in the future. In their opinion, the most relevant forces driving future vulnerability seem to be economic development—manifesting itself in unemployment and earnings inequality—and family policy. As for policy measures, childcare availability, early childhood education, assistance for children with special needs and raising awareness of employers for work–family reconciliation were ranked highly for mitigating the reproduction of vulnerability. While parents largely share the opinions of experts with regard to forces relevant for future family well-being, they evaluate some of the policy measures differently: the main disparities concern the assessment of support for stay-at-home mothers and the weight given to education for children after school and during holidays.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Romeo Molina
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 08:47
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:41

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