5 September 2019

Brett Ory successfully defended her dissertation “Drivers and Barriers of Involved Fatherhood: Family Characteristics, Social Class, and Country Context“. 

24 January 2019


Nina Conkova successfully defended her dissertation “Non-Kin Ties as a Source of Support in Europe: On the Role of Context“. 




December 2018

Families of Poles in the Netherlands (FPN) Codebook for Wave 2 

The FPN Codebook for Wave 2 has been published and can be accessed here.

December 2018

Interview with Pearl Dykstra

Interview with Pearl Dykstra in Sociologie Magazine (in Dutch) about her work as Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission.

Interview Prof Pearl Dykstra in Sociologie Magazine NL

6 – 9 June 2018

Families in Context at the European Population Conference

7 June 2018, 14:00 – 15:30

Alzbeta Bartova & Pearl Dykstra Parental and Public Support Before and After Unemployment, presented by Alzbeta Bartova

Maja Djundeva & Lea Ellwardt Does Loneliness Differ Among Migrants with Different Types of Support Networks? Role of Transnational Relationships in Polish Migrants in the Netherlands, presented by Maja Djundeva

8 June 2018, 12:30 – 14:00

Jing Zhang, Tom Emery & Pearl Dykstra Grandparenthood in China and Western Europe: An analysis of CHARLS and SHARE, P3.26 presented by Jing Zhang

9 June 2018, 9:00 – 10:30

Alzbeta Bartova & Kasia Karpinska Childcare Practices of Polish Migrants in the Netherlands: Comparison With the Countries of Origin and Destination, presented by Kasia Karpinska

9 June 2018, 11:00 – 12:30

Maja Djundeva & Tineke Fokkema Late-Life Loneliness Among Men and Women in a Cross-National Context: A Gendered Life Course Approach, presented by Tineke Fokkema


26 – 28 April 2018

Maja Djundeva presented her research Does loneliness vary among migrants with different types of support network? at the PAA 2018 Annual Meeting in Denver.

Maja PAA 2018

15 March 2018

The final conference of the Families in Context project took place. The Advisory Board members and guests were welcomed in Hotel New York, one of the oldest architectural highlights of Rotterdam. Pearl Dykstra, the PI of the project, opened the day and shared the project’s achievements. Her talk was followed by the presentation of the recent work executed by the team members and a discussion of future research collaborations. The day was closed in style – all participants took a water taxi to get to the restaurant hosting dinner.

4 – 17 March 2018


Dr Jing Wu from the Department of Sociology and Work Science at the University of Gothenburg conducted a research stay at Erasmus University Rotterdam. During her research stay, by utilizing the harmonized SHARE data on Europe and China, she planned and has been conducting two empirical comparative studies with Prof Dr Tineke Fokkema and PhD candidate Jing Zhang at Erasmus University Rotterdam, within the research themes of the ERC project ‘Families in Context’. The first planned study on relationships with adult children and depression of older parents will be orally presented at the 70th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) in November in Boston, USA. The second planned study on the macro- and micro-level differences in loneliness among older adults is working in progress. These two studies strive to provide a solid base of research evidence that identifies how life events and outcomes in old age, e.g. depression and loneliness, are structured across generations in the context of families and welfare societies.

Tineke Fokkema appointed a professor of ‘Ageing, Families and Migration’

T.Fokkema-175Tineke Fokkema has been appointed as the new endowed chair of ‘Ageing, Families and Migration’ at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). It is the first professorship in the Netherlands to focus on diversity within the population of older migrants, especially in relation to social issues and well-being. Loneliness and the effects of migration on relationships within the family or with relatives left behind in the country of origin will be investigated. This endowed professorship is established by the Netherland Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW


22 November 2017

Families in Context researchers attending the annual meeting of the Dutch Demography Day in Utrecht


6-7 July 2017

Nina Conkova presented her work Confiding in non-kin: Can generalized trust and civic participation explain cross-country differences in Europe at the 4th GGP User conference in Berlin.


5 July 2017

Alžběta Bártová graduated from the doctoral programme at the University of Edinburgh with her Thesis ‘Genderising’ Aspects of Birth-related Leave Policies and Fertility Behaviour in Europe: Understanding Policy from an Individual’s Perspective. Her supervisors were Dr Alison Koslowski and Dr Ingela Naumann.

Betty Graduation

28-30 June 2017

Tineke Fokkema and Nina Conkova participated at the IMISCOE conference in Rotterdam.

7 April 2017

A joint meeting of the Families in Context group and the Contexts of Opportunity group (PI: Aat Liefbroer, NIDI-KNAW/RUG) was held at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Both research projects are funded through ERC Advanced Investigator Grants.



30 May 2017

Prof Dr Renske Keizer received a Vidi grant worth €800.000.

renske-keizerA short summary of the project:

There is a Dutch saying: who is born for a dime, will never be worth a quarter. In this project, the researcher investigates whether this is true and specifically how fathers may influence this. Attention is also given to the role of context: the extended family, peers and country characteristics.

more information on the grant.

25 April 2017

Kees Waaldijk, Professor of Comparative Sexual Orientation Law at Leiden University, presented the report on the LawsandFamilies Database to Pearl Dykstra. In her speech, Pearl Dykstra stated that the database, which is publicly available on the web (see link), will be an indispensable resource for research on the ways in which laws and policies shape people’s lives, and more specifically their rights to maintain personal relationships.


13 April 2017

Sean de Hoon defended his dissertation (Family interdependencies: Partnerships, parenthood and well-being in context) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. His advisors were Pearl Dykstra and Renske Keizer. Sean is currently working as Data Analyst at Annalect, a subsidiary of the Omnicom Media Group.

sean cover

February – April 2017

Dr Barbara Fulda conducted a research stay at Erasmus

Barbara E. Fulda is currently visiting our research group at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the technical university Chemnitz in the internationally comparative research project „Life Course and Family Dynamics in a Comparative Perspective”. She received her PhD in 2014 from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne and was a guest researcher at the NCCR Lives in Switzerland in 2012. Her main research interest lies in studying the interdependencies between demographic and societal change. Here, she has focused on international comparisons between China, Europe and the USA. To answer her research questions, she conducts mixed methods as well as quantitative analyses. Previously, she has also studied how regional differences in social phenomena relate to cultural differences.

26 January 2017

Pearl Dykstra was one of the speakers at a symposium at VU University Amsterdam on The future of informal care


more info

‘Families of Poles in the Netherlands’ data has been released via the GGP website and is mentioned in the latest GGP newsletter


14-18 November 2016

Dr Rense Nieuwenhuis and Dr Maike Van Damme conducted research stays at Erasmus University, working closely with members of the Families in Context team.

rense maike


7 October 2016

Thijs van den Broek defended his dissertation (Supporting ageing parents: Comparative analyses of upward intergenerational support) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. His advisors were Pearl Dykstra and Romke van der Veen. Thijs is currently working as a postdoc at the London School of Economics on Emily Grundy’s European Research Council Advanced Grant project “Family life courses, intergenerational exchanges and later life health in Europe”.


12-14 September 2016

On the occasion of the 2016 Conference of the British Society for Population Studies (BSPS), which was held at the University of Winchester, Pearl Dykstra gave a keynote on “Demographic change: Policy challenges for Europe”.


24 May 2016

Pearl Dykstra gave a speech at the banquet on the occasion of the Abel Laureate Prize Giving in Oslo. Sir Andrew Wiles was awarded the prize for 2016 for his proof of Fermat’s last theorem.


13 May 2016

Pearl Dykstra gave an invited talk on “The experiment: A neglected research strategy in sociology” at the Sociology as a Population Science conference, which was held at Nuffield College Oxford.


September 2015 – June 2016

Natalie Hengstebeck was a Fulbright Fellow in the Sociology Department of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her work focuses on two areas: (a) the impact of contextual stress on migrant, military, and same-sex couple relationships; and (b) cross-national variation in sociocultural context and social policies and relations with family well-being.


19-20 April 2016

Pearl Dykstra was a keynote speaker at the conference on Sustainable Development Goals and Gender Equality in Amsterdam, which was organized in the context of the European Presidency of the Netherlands.


Use this link for more information.


24 June 2016

Nina Conkova gave a presentation on the support patterns amongst those left behind in Poland at the 2nd Annual NCCR Conference “Changing Realities of Migration and Mobility. A Swiss Perspective” in Neuchatel, Switzerland.


18-22 April 2016

Nina Conkova presented her work at the 6th LCSR International Workshop Trust, Social Capital and Values in a Comparative Perspective in Moscow.

14 April 2016

Pearl Dykstra gave a talk at Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.

See presentation slides.

31 March – 2 April 2016

Pearl Dykstra presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America in Washington, D.C.

See poster.

7-8 April 2016

The Families in Context team hosted a meeting with the project’s Advisory Board, which includes Gunhild Hagestad, Chiara Saraceno, Rick Settersten, Merril Silverstein, Luule Sakkeus, Katharina Herlofson, and Bernhard Nauck.



During the meeting Families in context team members and affiliated researchers discussed their ongoing research with experienced colleagues.


After the meeting there was a trip to the Keukenhof. A garden where people can admire Dutch flowers, like tulips.

keukenhof keukenhof2


Pearl Dykstra appointed to the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the Cabinet of European Commissioners.



The High Level Group of Scientific Advisors of the EC Scientific Advice Mechanism provides the Commission with high quality, timely and independent scientific advice on specific policy issues where such advice is critical to the development of Union policies or legislation. The advice will be based on the best possible scientific evidence.

The group is composed of seven members with an outstanding level of expertise and who collectively cover a wide range of scientific fields and expertise relevant for EU policy making.


10-12 March 2016

Nina Conkova and Tineke Fokkema participated in the International Exploratory Workshop Ageing migrants: methodological tools for comparative research at University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

24 December 2016

Katya Ivanova gave a talk at “Wintervuur” on new families in the Netherlands.


Wintervuur is a Dutch public event and the topic on the Christmas Eve was families. In that light, Dr Ivanova shared her research on one parent and step-parent families.

February – March 2016

Liili Abuladze conducted a research stay at the Erasmus University Rotterdam


Liili Abuladze, a PhD-candidate from the University of Tallinn, was a visitor in the Department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam from February 1 to March 31, 2016. Her “Short Term Scientific Mission” was funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). Liili is preparing a dissertation on intergenerational family ties in Estonia.

11 – 26 March 2016

Mirza Emirhafizovic conducted a Short-Term Scientific Mission with the Families in Context group at the Erasmus University. The topic of the research was Intergenerational Family Solidarity in the Light of the Second Demographic Transiton.


30 November – 1 December 2015

Brett Ory received a poster award at the 3rd Annual Generations and Gender User Conference in Vienna for her poster Mothers’ work hours and fathers’ share of childcare in cross-national perspective.

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21 November 2015

Kasia Karpinska is elected young successful Pole of the year in the Netherlands.

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20 November 2015

Pearl Dykstra gave a keynote on Generational Cleavages and Ageism at AGE Platform Europe’s Annual Conference in Brussels.


18 November 2015

Nina Concova presented her work entitled Beyond family and welfare state solidarity: A European comparison of the impact of political history on non-kin support at the 5th International Annual Research Conference Cultural and Economic Challenges under Cross-national Perspective at the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research in Moscow.

For more information:


5 November 2015

Pearl Dykstra gave a guest lecture at the Beijing University entitled The Dutch way of life: Key findings on life course stages in the Netherlands.

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5-6 November 2015

Nina Conkova presented at the Families Beyond Borders conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. The event focused on transnational families and aimed at exploring challenges and consequences of what it means to move to a different country for better economic prospects but leaving ageing parents and sometimes young children in their countries of origin.

More information

18 September 2015

Pearl Dykstra presented at the webinar Just One Wish for the Study of Human Development in Belfast.

link to presentation.


Katya Ivanova organised a symposium at the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van de wetenschappen (KNAW): “Wie is de familie doorsnee?”/ “Who are families?”

photo 3

4 September 2015

Brett Ory received a poster award at the workshop Fathers’ Involvement across the Life Course at the Wissenschaftsforum in Berlin.




11-12 June 2015

Pearl Dykstra attended the Advisory Board Meeting of the Active Ageing: Pathways and Outcomes (AgePaths) project in Oslo. She presented a paper entitled Reflections on the active ageing index.



Standing, from left to right
 Chris Phillipson, Pearl Dykstra, Katharina Herlofson, Rick Settersten, Sara Arber, Clemens Tesch-Roemer, Gøril Kvamme Løset, Gunhild Hagestad, Marijke Veenstra, Annemette Sørensen, Marja Aartsen, Svein Olav Daatland, Britt Slagsvold

19 May 2015

Prof Dr Pearl Dykstra and Dr Kasia Karpinska handed over iPads to the winners of a raffle organised for participants of the Families of Poles in the Netherlands (FPN) survey.

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10 April 2015

The Sociology Department at Erasmus University Rotterdam hosted a group of researchers involved in Work Package 7 of the Families and Societies project.


Prof Dr Pearl Dykstra, Dr Kasia Karpinska and Thijs van den Broek participated in this workshop and discussed the progress of the research executed by WP7 with their international colleagues.

10 February 2015

Dr Katya Ivanova received an EUR Fellowship for talented young researchers to carry out research on exchanges of support in stepfamilies.

DSC01835 - Copy

20-22 April 2015

Juho Härkönen from the Department of Sociology at the University of Stockholm visited the Families in Context group (and the bulb fields near Haarlem).


16-17 April 2015

Kasia Karpinska won the “outstanding paper on comparative analysis” award at the International Seminar on the Active Ageing Index and its potential in Brussels.

photo (2)


9 December 2014

The Sociology Department at Erasmus University Rotterdam hosted a group of researchers from  L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan. During the meeting, Prof Dr Pearl Dykstra, Dr Katya Ivanova and Nina Conkova presented their work



3-5 November 2014

Prof Dr Pearl Dykstra & Wouter Quite presented at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting

photo 1photo 2photo 3

22 October 2014

Pearl Dykstra and Kasia Karpinska met with a group of migration researchers at the Warsaw School of Economics to receive advice on the content of the Polish Migrants in the Netherlands survey questionnaire and on the organization of the survey.


Irena Kotowska (left), Kasia Karpinska (right)


15-16 October 2014

Kasia Karpinska and Pearl Dykstra served as discussants at the Peer Review in Cracow of The Active Ageing Index and its extension to the regional level’. The meeting was hosted by The European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

Link for the discussion_paper prepared for this meeting.

 participants peer review AAI 1

1-3 September 2014

Prof Dr Pearl Dykstra was a keynote speaker at the British Society of Gerontology



25 – 28 June 2014

European Population Conference in Budapest

Sean de Hoon, Maria Fleischmann, Thijs van den Broek, Dr. Renske Keizer & Prof Dr. Pearl Dykstra presented papers at the European Population Conference in Budapest. See the links below for more information concerning the presented papers.

Link paper Thijs van de Broek , Pearl Dykstra & Niels Schenk.
The second move and the welfare state: how do long-term care arrangements shape older adults’ residential relocations

Link paper Pearl Dykstra & Niels Schenk.
Changing impacts of parental divorce

Link paper Sean de Hoon, Renske Keizer & Pearl Dykstra.
Marriage and female wages: do married women pay a penalty or earn a premium?

Link paper Maria Fleischman, Ferry Koster & Pearl Dykstra.
The road less travelled? The role of labor policies for older workers’ labor market pathways in European countries
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17 June 2014

Prof Dr Pearl Dykstra presented at a research impact and relevance seminar on how to publish a world class paper

During this seminar participants learned about the publishing process and the ways in which authors can influence the success of their publications. This seminar was especially designed for early career researchers and PhD candidates. Senior staff, students and support staff were also welcome to attend. 




4 June 2014

Wouter Quite at the pitch-your-phd-project

On this day among other key note speakers 9 PhD candidates, one from all nine affiliated departments of the Graduate School presented their research in a three minute pitch (see link for more info).


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28-29 March 2014

Professor Dr Pearl Dykstra at the Two-Day EU Conference on Gender and Generations


From left to right: Philip N. Cohen, Pilar Gonalons-Pons, Pearl Dykstra, Chiara Saraceno, Gerda Neyer, Mary Daly, Kimberly Morgan, Diane Gabrielle Tremblay, Louise Davidson-Schmich, Myra Marx-Ferree, Camille Robcis, Agnes Hubert, Geoff Eley, Christine I. Caly-Sanchez, Becky Conekin

The Miami-Florida and Wisconsin EU Centers of Excellence are co-sponsoring an academic workshop March 28-29 2014 at Florida International University on questions of Gender and Generation in Europe. This workshop includes leading experts on the history of gender, family and the Welfare State in Europe, the demography of the transition in age and family structures, and the EU level policy responses to the cross-national challenges that these transitions pose for European social stability, social welfare and economic success. Our discussion-centered format will foster a cross-disciplinary exchange on questions including the impact of the rise and fall of the Welfare State on children, youth and aging populations as well as on what the gender dimensions of historical, demographic and political changes across and between generations will imply.
The workshop thus will provide both a broad overview – both historical and contemporary – of the conceptual issues already connecting gender equality policies, generational care and social reproduction and an engaged expert consideration of the challenges ahead for EU and member state policy makers. This workshop will draw upon a wide range of experts across disciplines (history, demography, sociology, political science, family studies) and countries (Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, UK, Spain) to offer the opportunity to reflect on the intersection of the longer term political and cultural changes, demographic transformations, medium term economic crises, and the short term policies and politics that are changing lives in strongly gendered ways and/or directed to making gender equality in and through family policy, whether for children, youth, or those in the later stages of life. We keep the issue of gender equality front and center while simultaneously exploring the implications for and from aging, fertility, migration, the diminishing social welfare net, and cross-generational relations.

10-14 March 2014

Wouter Quite attended the ECSR spring school on Family Complexity and its Implications for Inequality

On 10-14 March 2014, jointly with the Universities of Milan, Turin and the Collegio Carlo Alberto, the ECSR co-organized a Spring School held at the Collegio Carlo Alberto, Via Real Collegio 30, Moncalieri (Turin), Italy.
The School was promoted by ECSR, Collegio Carlo Alberto and by the universities of Milan and Turin in the frame of the NASP-West, Network for the Advancement in Social and Political Studies. It provided high-quality training on leading-edge theories and methodological approaches to the analysis of family complexity in contemporary societies and its consequences for social stratification and inequality.
The School was organized by Gabriele Ballarino (University of Milan), Filippo Barbera (Collegio Carlo Alberto and University of Turin), Fabrizio Bernardi (ECSR, EUI) and Juho Härkönen (Stockholm University).