This commentary reinforces a central commitment of life course research: to make visible how social change matters in human lives. This paper captures a moderated conversation with four senior scholars about how they came to study the intersection between social change and life experience, why this intersection is so important to life course studies, and theoretical and methodological imperatives and challenges that come with it.
Adult arrest records were examined for a cohort of 150 public high school males named as friends by classmates 28 years earlier. The overall adult arrest rate was 35.3%. The arrest rate for males with at least one disciplinary referral was 59.2%. Friendship data were divided into offender–offender, offender–non-offender and non-offender–non-offender dyads. The proportion of offender–offender dyads was four times greater than offender–non-offender dyads, both for those with and without disciplinary referrals. These results are interpreted as indications of the possible influence of high school friends on adult offences. Arrests were disproportionally for violent offences against females among those who shared high school friendships. An interpretation that negative attitudes, emotions and behaviour toward females formed during activities with friends in high school, leading to a trajectory of violence towards women, is presented. Recommendations are made for interventions for adolescent male anger towards females to prevent adult domestic and intimate partner violence. Suggested interventions include anger management, school violence prevention, dating violence prevention and youth mentoring programmes. Also recommended is to change punitive school policies that bring students with behaviour problems together to opportunities for positive experiences, such as through organised activities, volunteer service in the community and restorative justice practices.
Sequence analysis is an established approach to study life courses. When several life domains are considered simultaneously, multichannel sequence analysis (MSA) and the extended alphabet (EA) approach are the most frequently used strategies. We compare these two methods using real data composed of four life domains (cohabitational status, children, professional status, health), and we focus on clustering since sequence analysis usually aims to identify typical patterns in sequences. As professional status trajectories, and potentially their relationship with other domains, proved to be different between men and women, the analyses were run separately by sex. We describe step by step the approach followed and the different criteria to judge the relevance of a typology. Neither of the two approaches is clearly superior, and the typologies obtained with both methods are often close. However, even if MSA is generally easier to use and applies to a broader range of situations, EA can provide original typologies in specific cases and we therefore propose guidelines for choosing between the two approaches depending on the context.
A household’s financial satisfaction is one of the most significant factors driving subjective well-being. However, Poland ranks close to the lowest position, 22nd out of the 28 EU members, in self-reported financial status. The paper investigates the problem of determining patterns of Polish households’ behaviour and shows the evolution of the subjective assessment of financial situation based on the eight waves of the Polish Household panel data. The analysis is carried out on the basis of latent Markov (LM) models, which allow for socio-economic features affecting the parameters of the latent process. We compare different types of LM models considering: (1) different numbers of latent structures; (2) different types of the latent process constraints; (3) socio-economic background characteristics; and (4) survey weights (being excluded in most of the empirical analyses). The final model identifies three latent states, specifies common initial and transition probabilities over a 15-year period and, as a result, enables us to better characterise the families likely to change their position, especially families reporting worsening in their financial situation. To show the main direction of self-reporting financial condition, we present the predicted path for respondents characterised by the selected socio-economic features, relying on algorithm maximising posterior probabilities of the selected LM model.
This study focuses on the constitution of financial reserves in Switzerland from a longitudinal perspective. Personal income after retirement derives from financial reserves whose constitution depends both on positional factors, such as sex and birth cohorts, and processual factors, such as occupational trajectories, in the institutional context of the Swiss pension system (structural factors). We hypothesise that some processual, positional and structural factors interact with each other to shape financial reserves available in old age. We assess this set of factors and their interactions using the occupational trajectory types stemming from optimal matching analysis (OMA) combined with the hierarchical clustering and regression tree methods. We used the retrospective biographic data SHARELIFE gathered during the third wave of the SHARE survey in 2009. The results show that occupational trajectories are influential factors accounting for much of the financial reserves available in later life. However, these processual factors interact with positional factors such as sex and birth cohort. The retirement schemes generalised in Switzerland during the period under consideration add up to the effect of positional factors on the constitution of financial reserves.
To review research developments on childhood adversity in the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS) since 2001.
Narrative overview of the published work of the CHDS since 2001 in the context of research methods.
The CHDS research has continued to evolve as the cohort has aged. A clear focus has remained on the measurement of outcomes associated with psychosocial risk factors over the life course. This focus has allowed the CHDS to examine the linkages between exposure to adversity in childhood and later mental health, psychosocial and occupational outcomes across the life span to middle adulthood. The CHDS has many strengths, including prospective measurement of a broad and deep set of constructs, the use of multiple informants for data, and a range of statistical approaches suited to repeated measures longitudinal data. The CHDS has pioneered new approaches to the study of human development over the lifespan, which has been instrumental in investigating childhood adversity.
The CHDS continues to provide unique information from a population cohort that has been studied for more than four decades. Future research will include examination of factors that mitigate the effects of childhood adversity and enhance resilience.
This study explored how middle-aged workers’ career trajectory patterns were associated with their financial security later in life. Grounded by a life course perspective, we approached their career trajectories by considering a ‘human agency within structure’ framework. We explored sequences of employment status, starting with their lifetime main job to subsequent jobs after contractual retirement, using data from 1,010 middle-aged adults in Seoul, South Korea. The sequence analysis identified six career trajectory patterns. Stable career patterns included the Permanent to permanenttrajectory as well as the Permanent to self-employmenttrajectory and these were most common among males with higher education degrees, higher earnings and better career alignment. Unstable career patterns such as the Temporary to temporary trajectory, the Permanent to temporary trajectory or the Churning trajectory were most common among those who were female, had lower levels of education lower earnings or had retired involuntarily. Further results showed that unstable career patterns were associated with lower levels of monthly earnings and total assets post–contractual retirement. Individuals with unstable career patterns were also less likely to be financially prepared for retirement. We suggest individualising education programmes for retirement preparation based on various career trajectories and demographic attributes to aid middle-aged adults in preparing for financial security later in life.