The aim of this study was (1) to examine whether Turkish older migrants are indeed—as is often claimed without solid scientific evidence—lonelier than their peers with no migration background and (2) to determine the factors that account for the differences in loneliness between them. We analysed data of adults aged 50–79 from the first wave of the German Generations and Gender Survey and a supplementary survey of Turkish nationals in Germany (N = 3,248 born in Germany and N = 494 born in Turkey). Differences in degree of loneliness between Turkish and native-born older adults were determined by the six-item Loneliness Scale of de Jong Gierveld. To identify the specific factors contributing to these loneliness differences, a series of multivariate regression analyses were conducted, examining the impact of two groups of risk factors (poor health and low socioeconomic status) and two groups of protective factors (social embeddedness in the family and informal support exchanges) on loneliness. Results showed that feelings of loneliness are indeed more prevalent among older adults of Turkish origin than their German counterparts, which is entirely attributable to their lower socioeconomic status and poorer health. Living with a partner or children, frequent contacts with non-coresident children, emotional support exchange and looking after grandchildren—though important factors to prevent loneliness at the individual level—did not specifically protect Turkish older adults from loneliness, or did so rarely. These findings not only indicate new and challenging directions for further research but also raise questions about the effectiveness of the most common loneliness interventions, which focus on improving number and quality of social relationships.
Abstract: This paper validates the fertility histories of the German Generations and Gender Survey (GGS). Focusing on the cohorts 1930-69 of West German women, the total number of children, the parity distribution and the parity progression ratios are compared to external sources. One major result from this validation is that the German GGS understates the fertility for the older cohorts and overstates it for the younger ones. We presume that two mechanisms are responsible for this pattern in the German GGS: On the one hand, children who have left parental home are underreported in the retrospective fertility histories. On the other hand, women with small children are easier to reach by the interviewer. These two mechanisms taken together produce too low numbers of children for the older and too high ones for the younger cohorts. Extending the validation to marital histories has revealed a similar bias. Our general conclusion from this investigation is that the German GGS may not be used for statistical analyses of cohort fertility and marriage trends. For subsequent surveys, we suggest integrating simple control questions in questionnaires with complex retrospective fertility and union histories.
In this study, we investigate couples' division of household tasks by the age of the youngest child, comparing France, eastern Germany, and western Germany. For our analyses, we draw on Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) data. As expected, our findings are that the division of housework is less egalitarian for couples with preschool age children than for childless couples, and these differences are greatest in western Germany. However, we had also expected the division of housework to be more egalitarian again for couples with older children, among whom maternal employment rates are higher than among those with younger children. Our findings confirmed this expectation for western Germany. Surprisingly though, we found that in both eastern Germany and France, the division of housework was actually continuously less egalitarian the older couples' children. An explanation may be that the traditionalizing impact of parenthood unfolds slowly with parenthood duration as couples increasingly yield to societal expectations regarding parental roles. In western Germany, where women reduce their employment most significantly when becoming mothers, employment status effects appear to dominate any other trends associated with the age of the youngest child.
Kreyenfeld, M. and Zeman, K. and Burkimsher, M. and Jaschinski, I.
This paper gives an overview of fertility data for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Particular attention is given to the availability of order-specific fertility data. We discuss the quality of data provided by the Statistical Offices, both birth registration data and censuses or microcensuses. In addition, we explore how social science surveys can be used to generate order-specific fertility indicators, and compare fertility estimates across surveys with estimates from vital statistics. Prior studies have shown that there is a ’family bias’ in most surveys, with the fertility of the younger cohorts being overstated, because respondents with young children are easier to reach by the interviewers. Our assessment of various types of surveys from the three different countries does mostly support this notion. However, the ‘family bias’ is most pronounced in family surveys while all-purpose surveys suffer from it to a lesser extent. Weighting the data does not fully cure the ‘family bias’, which we attribute to the fact that number of children is not usually considered a factor in calculating sample weights, as provided by the survey agencie and Statistical Offices. The confounding role of migration in the production of reliable and comparable fertility statistics is also discussed.
L’Allemagne, qui affiche l’un des indices de fécondité les plus faibles au monde, a peu de chances de renverser la tendance dans les années à venir, au vu de résultats d’enquêtes menées sur le désir d’enfant. Si le modèle majoritairement souhaité est celui d’une famille avec deux enfants, en deuxième position vient, à l’Est, le choix d’un enfant unique et, à l’Ouest, celui de n’en vouloir aucun.
Neyer, Gerda and Lappegård, Trude and Vignoli, Daniele
Does gender equality matter for fertility? Demographic findings to this question are rather inconclusive. We argue that gender equality is a complex issue that needs to be conceptualized in a way which includes gender equity and allows for gender differences but uncovers gender inequalities. We explore this approach by investigating the impact of four dimensions of gender equality on women´s and men´s childbearing intentions in Europe: the possibility to maintain a household, the capabilities to choose, the resources to have agency, and gender equity in household work and in care. We apply logistic regressions to data of the Generations and Gender Survey. Our results suggest that gender equality and fertility intentions are intertwined in a multi-faceted way, and that gender equality in the areas which we examine exert different impacts on women’s and men’s childbearing intentions. Our study also confirms that parenthood still constitutes a dividing line between more and less gender equality, and that this affects childbearing intentions of childless women and childless men differently than that of mothers and fathers. This necessitates an approach which allows identifying the essential gender inequalities in employment, in society, and in the family which matter for childbearing decisions.
The paper analyses the advantages and shortcomings of the two approaches of generating indicators of fertility patterns on the example of German speaking countries (Austria, Switzerland and Germany). Individual-level surveys like the Fertility and Family Survey (FFS), Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) or Population Policy Acceptance Survey (PPA) are primary sources for fertility analysis. Investigations from surveys are essential for understanding how socioeconomic and cultural factors determine family formation patterns. The main purpose of surveys is usually not deriving fertility rates, anyway it is important to see how reliable these data can be and whether they cover the reality sufficiently. Survey data are limited due to two crucial issues: sample sizes are too small and time periods are too short to display long time trends. The sample bias related to fertility estimates should be considered carefully – some members of population could be underreported in the sample, which might be corrected by incorporating weights. Hence, a clear validation is important for assessing the degree of reliance due to estimations from survey data. Vital statistics or data from population censuses have an important advantage over survey data because they provide a large number of recorded persons. Furthermore, demographic events are precisely recorded by official registers. However, the detail of the given information is not always sufficient (e.g. lacking information on birth order in Germany and Switzerland). The major question is to see if fertility indicators based on individual-level survey data differ substantially from those reported in vital statistics. Do we always face the same patterns of discrepancies due to the notorious problem of overestimation of fertility levels in surveys? The paper concludes that single and childless women are usually underreported in surveys, overestimating thus the level of fertility. The comparative approach of the paper allows assessing the quality of selected surveys.