“Families in Context” researchers attending the annual meeting of the Dutch Demography Day, 22 November 2017 in Utrecht


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. The conference took place on July 6-7, 2017 in Berlin.


Alzbeta Bártová defended her PhD on the association between maternity and parental leave entitlements and fertility behaviour in 27 European countries at the University of Edinburgh on 5th July 2017. She was supervised by Dr Alison Koslowski and Ingela Naumann.

Betty Graduation

Tineke Fokkema and Nina Conkova participated at the IMISCOE conference, which took place on June 28-30, 2017 in Rotterdam.

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 on April 7th, 2017. Both research projects are funded through ERC Advanced Investigator Grants.



On may 30, 2017, Prof Dr R. (Renske) Keizer received a Vidi worth 800.000 euro’s.

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.

On April 25, 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.


Sean de Hoon defended his dissertation (Family interdependencies: Partnerships, parenthood and well-being in context) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam on 13 April 2017. His advisors were Pearl Dykstra and Renske Keizer. Sean is currently working as Data Analyst at Annalect, a subsidiary of the Omnicom Media Group.

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From February to April 2017, 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.


Pearl Dykstra was one of the speakers at a symposium at VU University Amsterdam on The future of informal care, 26 January 2017


more info

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


From 14-18 November 2016, Rense Nieuwenhuis and Maike Van Damme conducted research stays at Erasmus University, working closely with members of the Families in Context team.

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Thijs van den Broek defended his dissertation (Supporting ageing parents: Comparative analyses of upward intergenerational support) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam on 7 October 2016. 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”.


 On the occasion of the 2016 Conference of the British Society for Population Studies (BSPS), which was held at the University of Winchester 12-14 September, Pearl Dykstra gave a keynote on “Demographic change: Policy challenges for Europe”.


On 24 May, 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.


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, May 13, 2016.


Natalie Hengstebeck was a Fulbright Fellow in the Sociology Department of Erasmus University Rotterdam from September 2015 to June 2016. 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.


Pearl Dykstra was a keynote speaker at the conference on Sustainable Development Goals and Gender Equality in Amsterdam, 19-20 April 2016, which was organized in the context of the European Presidency of the Netherlands.


Use this link for more information.


On June 24, 2016 Nina Conkova gave a presentation on the support patterns amongst left behind in Poland at the 2nd Annual NCCR Conference “Changing Realities of Migration and Mobility. A Swiss Perspective” in Neuchatel, Switzerland.


On April 18-22, 2016 Nina Conkova presented her work at the 6th LCSR International Workshop “Trust, Social capital and Values in a Comparative Perspective” in Moscow.


Pearl Dykstra gave a talk at Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona on April 14th, 2016.

See presentation slides.

Pearl Dykstra presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, Washington, March 31 – April 2, 2016.

See poster.

On april 7-8, 2016, the families in context team hosted a meeting with the project’s Advisory Board, which includes Gunhil 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.

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Pearl Dykstra appointed to the High Level Group of scientists advising 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.


On March 10-12, 2016 Nina Conkova and Tineke Fokkema participated at the International Exploratory Workshop “Ageing migrants: methodological tools for comparative research” at University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

On December the 24th Katya Ivanova gave a talk at “Wintervuur” on new families in the Netherlands.


Wintervuur is a Dutch public even where on the eve of Christmas the topic was families. In that light Dr. Ivanova shared her research on one parent families and families with a stepparent.

From February to march 2016, Liili Abuladze conducted a research stay at Erasmus


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.

Mirza Emirhafizovic was on a Short-Term Scientific Mission with the families in context group at Erasmus university from 11 to 26 March 2016. The topic of the research was Intergenerational Family Solidarity in the Light of the Second Demographic Transiton


Brett Ory recieved a poster award at the 3rd Annual Generations and Gender User Conference in Vienna on November 30-Dec 1 for her poster: “Mothers’ work hours and fathers’ share of childcare in cross-national perspective”

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On November the 21, Kasia Karpinska is elected young successful Pole of the year in the Netherlands.

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Pearl Dykstra gave a keynote on “Generational cleavages and ageism” at AGE Platform Europe’s Annual Conference, Brussels, 20 November, 2015.


On November 18, 2015, Nina Conkova 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 Changes under Cross-National Perspective” at the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research in Moscow.

For more information:



On November 5, 2015, Pearl Dykstra gave a guest lecture at Beijing University entitled: The Dutch way of life: Key findings on life course stages in the Netherlands.

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On 5-6 November 2015, Nina Conkova presented at the “Families Beyond Borders” conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. The event, focused on transnational families, 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

On the 18th of September 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?”

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On the 4th of September, Brett Ory recieved a poster award at the workshop: “Fathers’ Involvement across the Life Course” at the Wissenschaftsforum  in Berlin.




Pearl Dykstra attended the Advisory Board Meeting of the “Active Ageing: Pathways and Outcomes (AgePaths)” project, Oslo, June 11-12, 2015. 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

On May 19th 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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On April 10th 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.

On February 10th Dr. Katya Ivanova received a EUR Fellowship for talented young researchers to carry out research on exchanges of support in stepfamilies.

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Juho Härkönen from the Department of Sociology, University of Stockholm, visited the Families in Context group (and the bulb fields near Haarlem), 20-22 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, 16-17 April, 2015.

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On December 9th the Sociology Department at Erasmus University Rotterdam hosted a group of researchers from  L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan. During the meeting prof. dr. Pearl Dykstra, dr. Katya Ivanova and Nina Conkova presented their work



November 5-3, 2014 – Prof Dr. Pearl Dykstra & MSc Wouter Quite presented at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting

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On October 22, 2014, Pearl Dykstra and Kasia Karpinska met with a group of migration researchers at the Warsaw School in 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)


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’, 15-16 October 2014. 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

September 1-3, 2014 – Prof Dr. Pearl Dykstra was a keynote speaker at the British Society of Gerontology



June 25-28, 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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June 17, 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. 




June 4, 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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March 28-29, 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.


March, 10-14 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).