Changing Family Dynamics and Demographic Evolution

Changing Family Dynamics and Demographic Evolution

The Family Kaleidoscope

Edited by Dimitri Mortelmans, Koenraad Matthijs, Elisabeth Alofs and Barbara Segaert

Whether considered from an American or a European perspective, the past four decades have seen family life become increasingly complex. Changing Family Dynamics and Demographic Evolution examines the various stages of change through the image of a kaleidoscope, providing new insights into the field of family dynamics and diversity.

Chapter 8: Fatherhood and men’s second union formation: Norway, France and Hungary, 1980s–2000s

L'via Murink— and Ivett Szalma

Subjects: social policy and sociology, family and gender policy


Changes in partnership behaviour of the past decades – increasing divorce rates, the growing instability of unions and the diffusion of unmarried cohabitation – have made re-partnering a more common experience for parents and non-parents alike. This chapter investigates the changing influence of fatherhood on the re-partnering of men in three European countries, building hypotheses for different subgroups of men on the three general arguments of need, attractiveness and opportunity. Data from the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey for France (2005), Norway (2007–2008) and Hungary (2004–2005) are analysed using piecewise exponential event history models. The analysis complements earlier literature by focusing on men, taking a comparative perspective, looking at change over time, considering both cohabiting and marital unions, and also differentiating between (part- or full-time) residential and non-residential fatherhood. Findings show that the probability of re-partnering has not changed for childless men since the 1980s but it has increased among men with co-resident children in France and Hungary and for all fathers in Norway. In the new millennium, fathers who live with their children either full-time or part-time find a new partner faster than any other group of men. The results show no negative effect of fatherhood in the new millennium. This lack of negative impact contrasts with findings regarding the re-partnering of single mothers and also some of the results on men. Results are discussed in view of country-specific childcare policies, custody arrangements, parenting practices and family-related attitudes.

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