European Youth Studies


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This is the space to write the wiki article for the team of 5 working on Du Bois-Reymond (2008) on a key concept stemming from the Du Bois-Reymond text.


Transition to parenthood

The pedagogical and psychological concept of "transition" describes the fact of passing through sets of identity stages (i.e. from childhood to youth, from youth to adulthood and/or parenthood). "Transition" might be defined as a developmental task and is connected to complex decision-making and planning. Transition to parenthood might be one part of the transition to adulthood which consists in a simultaneity of transitions: young people in their transition to adulthood have to simultaneously pass through a complex set of identity stages, including continuing with education and building up a professional career, finding an adequate gender role, leaving the parent's home, finding a love partner and deciding to have children or not to have children etc. These multiple tasks require complex decision-making and planning. During the transition process, young people influence the society and the surrounding environment with their actions and decisions, and are also subjected to social traditions, behavioral norms and cultural values.[1] This process is called ‘Structured invidualization’.

There are several factors that influence specifically the transition to parenthood:

  1. Work-family-life balance
  2. Yoyoization of the life-course of young people
  3. Gender relations
  4. Work cultures
  5. Welfare typology

Factors that influence the transition to parenthood.

Work-family-life balance

This is the concordance of work and family, primarily within the life-course of women but increasingly the scope is broadened to include men and potentially also children. [1]

Work cultures tend to become more and more important and we can differentiate from low flexibility(company oriented) and high flexibility (worker oriented). The text develops on this differentiation and the consequences of this.

A marketization of the text can be read with the concept introduced: when young people choose between having a child or not, they talk about porche option having it or not.

Yoyoization of the youthful life-course

It refers to the fluctuating gap between education and labour market and family formation. While higher educated young people postpone children because they first want to realize their professional ambitions – especially women want that – lower educated young men and women may postpone parenthood because of job insecurity or unemployment.[2]

Gender relations

In terms of the aforesaid structured individualisation, gender relations are dynamic. Finding new gender roles and coming up with novel formulae for gender balance is a key task for contemporary youth when and while they are doing “young parenthood”. [3]

With rergards to those changes, in especially Western European societies new fatherhood is articulated by all social stakeholders, while the increasing role for the male parent is a not much favoured topic in post-soviet Europe. [4]

Work cultures

In this specific context, work cultures refer to the attitude towards working parents. According to flexibility typology [5], this categorisation can be made:

  1. high/intermediate flexibility and worker oriented: the Netherlands and UK;
  2. low/intermediate flexibility and company oriented: Germany, Slovenia, (Bulgaria was not included);
  3. low flexibility and company oriented: Italy (Bulgaria).

Welfare typology

with regards to transition regimes [6]:

  1. universal transition regimes - Scandinavian countries,
  2. liberal transition regimes - Anglo-Saxon countries,
  3. employment-centered transition regimes - Central European countries,
  4. sub-protective transition regimes - Southern European countries,
  5. heterogeneous regimes - post-communist countries.


In this section, your references will be automatically listed. You don't need to edit this part of the template, it works automagically.

  1. Zeiher, H., Devine, D., Kjøholt, A.T. , & Strandell, H. (eds.) 2007 Flexible Childhoods Exploring Children`s Welfare in Time and Space. University Press of South Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
  2. du Bois-Reymond, M. & López Blasco, A. 2003 ‘Yo-yo Transitions and Misleading Trajectories: Towards Integrated Transition Policies for Young Adults in Europe’. In: López Blasco, A., McNeish, W., Walther, A. (eds.) Young People and Contradictions of Inclusion. Towards Integrated Transition Policies in Europe. Bristol: Policy Press (pp. 19-41).
  3. Brannen, J. Lewis, S., Nilsen, A., Smithson, J. 2002 Young Europeans, Work and Family. Futures in Transition. London: Routledge.
  4. Böhnisch, L. & Winter, R. 1993 Männliche Sozialisation (Male socialization). Weinheim/München: Juventa.
  5. Chung, H., Kerkhofs, E., Ester, P. 2007 Working Time Flexibility in European Companies. Establishment Survey on Working Time 2004-2005. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
  6. du Bois-Reymond, M. (ed.) 2008 Thematic Report Young Parenthood.

Further Reading

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External Links

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