CURRENT RESEARCH: Family complexity

Currently, I am focusing on the overarching question of what happens with intergenerational solidarity in the context of increasing family complexity. The pertinence of this research question is clear given the focal role which the family is expected to play in the context of contracting welfare states. At the same time, we are witnessing an unprecedented diversification of family forms which raises the question of what happens to intergenerational solidarity in a context where relationships are not “assigned” as is the case in families linked by biological ties but are also “constructed” by partnership dissolutions and reconstitutions. In other words, how will the relations between adult children and the older generation be managed in a context where multiple parent-child bonds might have to be negotiated simultaneously? I began this research with the initial support of an EUR Fellowship at Erasmus University Rotterdam and subsequently 
continued this line of inquiry while coordinating the Families Complexity team at University of Amsterdam. The team collaborated with Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in order to carry out a novel multi-actor survey (OKiN) among Dutch adults (ages 25-45), while oversampling primary respondents who were not living with both of their biological parents at age 15.


Remarriage in Comparative Perspective
  • Remarriage is often seen as a "solution" for the high rates of divorce in modern society but a model of 'sequential monogamy' also introduces new problems and risks in society. While there is vast amount of research on divorce, fewer studies have been done on remarriage, in particular in Europe. We address five problems: barriers on the remarriage market, gender differences in remarriage, the effects of remarriage on well-being, father-child relations after remarriage, and the instability of remarriage. The underlying question is how the causes and consequences of remarriage vary with the degree to which divorce is institutionalized in society.
From Parents to Partners: The Impact of Family on Romantic Relationships in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood 
  • Do adolescents who feel that they are rejected by their parents search for alternative sources of emotional warmth? Are children of divorced parents more likely to initiate romantic relationships than those from intact families? How does the instability surrounding a parental divorce affect an adolescent’s inclination to date? Does the quality of the family relational climate in childhood have a direct effect on people’s satisfaction with their intimate relationships even 15 years later, in emerging adulthood? This project investigates how relational experiences with family members and significant family transitions can affect the initiation and quality of romantic relationships in adolescence and emerging adulthood.