Dimitri Mortelmans

Dimitri Mortelmans
University of Antwerp | UA · Department of Sociology

PhD

About

397
Publications
201,245
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4,228
Citations
Citations since 2017
91 Research Items
2808 Citations
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Introduction
Dimitri Mortelmans (°1972) is Senior Full Professor in Sociology at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Antwerp (Belgium). He is head of the Centre for Population, Family and Health. His research concentrates on family sociology and sociology of labour. He has published on divorce, new constituted families, gendered labour careers and work-life balance. On qualitative methodology, he published the Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods and Qualitative Analysis with Nvivo. In demography, he co-edited Changing Family Dynamics and Demographic Evolution. The Family Kaleidoscope (Edward Elgar) and Lone parenthood in the Life Course (Springer).
Additional affiliations
January 2003 - present
University of Antwerp

Publications

Publications (397)
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic and related physical distancing measures have disproportionally affected older adults living alone due to their greater social isolation. Unlike previous studies on the subject, the current research recognizes the diversity amongst older adults living alone by considering the impact of marital history. Combining information fr...
Article
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Being one of the quintessential resources to bounce back from adversities, the complexities of social support in the context of transitions to single parenthood are seldom fully grasped. While many studies are limited by (quantitative) data on type and intensity of support received, in-depth qualitative data facilitates an understanding of the hurd...
Article
Despite the relevance of loneliness to family scholarship, an attempt to integrate various perspectives on loneliness with relevant insights from loneliness research for understanding contemporary families has not yet been made. Although quantitative researchers have developed measures that have been fruitful in broadening insights about loneliness...
Technical Report
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Dit rapport kadert binnen het survey-onderzoek EF63 naar informele zorg in Vlaanderen van het Steunpunt Welzijn, Volksgezondheid en Gezin. Maatschappelijke en demografische veranderingen en een beleid gericht op de ‘vermaatschappelijking van zorg’ bevestigen het toenemend belang dat wordt gehecht aan informele zorg. Het centraal doel van dit onderz...
Article
Despite the fact that the size and diversity of migrant populations and their descendants in Europe have increased substantially throughout the past decades, income dynamics of union dissolution have not been studied among populations with a migrant background in the European context. Using data from the Belgian Social Security Registers from 1999–...
Article
Background: Previous studies on the role of partner choice in relationship dissolution have shown that exogamous marriages often have higher divorce risks. Yet, given that these studies focus only on marriages, it remains unclear whether the same dynamics can be seen in unmarried cohabiting couples, or what the exact role of a premarital cohabitati...
Article
Onderzoek stelt dat een gevoel van eerlijkheid omtrent de overeenkomst over onderhoudsbijdragen voor kinderen na een ouderlijke relatiebreuk wanbetaling kan helpen voorkomen. Dit artikel bouwt hierop verder door aan de hand van diepte-interviews bij Vlaamse ouders na te gaan i) wat de ervaring van (on)eerlijkheid betekent in het kader van afspraken...
Article
Full-text available
Onderzoek stelt dat een gevoel van eerlijkheid omtrent de overeenkomst over onderhoudsbijdragen voor kinderen na een ouderlijke relatiebreuk wanbetaling kan helpen voorkomen. Dit artikel bouwt hierop verder door aan de hand van diepte-interviews bij Vlaamse ouders na te gaan i) wat de ervaring van (on)eerlijkheid betekent in het kader van afspraken...
Article
Full-text available
Although the literature on informal caregiving for older parents shows that daughters have a higher tendency to provide care compared with sons, only a few studies have focused on the gender composition of all children or parents’ entire range of care options. Our study examines the effect of children’s gender composition on informal and formal car...
Article
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The divorce literature has consistently found that—especially women—are negatively affected by relationship dissolution in terms of material wellbeing. There is, however, considerable debate on whether these effects are persistent or temporary. We use fixed effects models and control for the socioeconomic status of individuals who separated between...
Article
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School has been demonstrated to be important for children’s wellbeing and useful for the reintegration of armed conflict-affected children. However, little is known about the factors that can help stimulate the wellbeing of conflict-affected children in school. This study qualitatively explores the factors that contribute to the school-related subj...
Article
Objective: This study will on will synthesize the available evidence on the prevalence and incidence of chemotherapy-induced taste alterations in adult cancer patients. Introduction: Taste and smell alterations in cancer patients due to chemotherapy affect patients' quality of life and can cause malnutrition. Recent knowledge about the incidence...
Article
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Studies have suggested that the timing of leaving one’s parental home can be influenced by a number of factors, such as gender, educational background, and parental characteristics. However, despite empirical evidence showing that siblings may influence one another’s life course decisions, intragenerational effects on leaving home have not been ade...
Article
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Women without a partner can become single mothers by choice through the use of fertility treatments. In Belgium, the decision to accept a candidate single mother by choice rests with the fertility clinic’s multidisciplinary team of fertility practitioners. As a result, the fertility practitioners fulfil a gatekeeping role. However, this can cause a...
Article
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The similarity of the Big Five personality traits of ex-spouses and new partners was examined post-divorce. The notion that divorcees replicate their partner choice (fixed-type hypothesis) was tested against the hypotheses that they learn to select a new partner with more marriage-stabilizing personality traits than their former spouse (learning hy...
Article
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In line with social exchange theory, the Big Five traits are hypothesized to affect marital stability. We performed a meta-analysis, which restricted the study selection to title searches and broad-scale Big Five trait effects. In total, 51 study effects were incorporated into the analysis (N = 25,153). The findings showed that neurotic, extraverte...
Book
Full-text available
This PhD project examined the association between the Big Five personality traits and marital separation by investigating five potential effects. The research data was derived from national representative panel surveys from multiple countries, which was made possible by the recent incorporation of the Big Five traits into these types of surveys.
Article
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Although siblings may differ considerably, the similarities between them are often an important source of emotional support in one's life and influence one's life course trajectories. In this review on the topic of sibling relationship and cross‐sibling effect interactions, we aim to encourage research interest and facilitate knowledge building. We...
Article
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Objective: The present study aims to investigate changes in the frequency of parent-child contact among Europeans aged 65 years and over within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, while recognizing heterogeneity within the group of older adults. Background: Physical distancing measures have been implemented worldwide to curb the spread of the CO...
Article
Contrary to approaching work and family as conflictual roles, a shift towards acknowledgement of the positive interaction between work and family has been detected. This research investigated whether married/cohabiting and divorced/separated parents differ in terms of work–family enrichment, considering their gender and relationship status after se...
Article
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Limited information exists on life satisfaction and hope of internally displaced children in conflict-affected areas. Using both the ecological and resilience frameworks on children’s well-being, this study investigates the associations between age, gender, parent-child relationship and livelihood support on life satisfaction and hope of conflict a...
Chapter
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Until the end of the twentieth century, child custody arrangements after separation typically continued the gendered pre-separation parenting division, with mothers taking up childcare and fathers paying child support. Recently, there has been a significant rise in co-parenting after separation, reflecting the trend towards more socio-economic, wor...
Chapter
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This introductory chapter provides the rationale for adopting an interdisciplinary approach to study the implications of shared physical custody arrangements for families and their members. The Chapter gives a rapid overview of the current state of the literature on shared physical custody in the legal, sociological and psychological literature and...
Article
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Aim Alterations in taste are distressing side effects for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. The Center for Gastrology (Belgium) developed a self-care intervention based on taste control. This intervention contains an assessment of the individual taste and food hedonics. It provides recipes based on the individual assessed hedonics profile, so...
Preprint
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Purpose: Taste and smell alterations are known side-effects of an oncological treatment with chemotherapy and can cause reduced food intake and lead to malnutrition and cachexia. ESPEN guidelines state that organizations should foresee a protocol to identify patients at nutritional risk and that screening should be available for all patients. The C...
Article
This study aims to deepen our understanding of the perception of fairness in child support agreements. We build on the theory of reaching agreements and current knowledge considering justice perceptions in child support cases, applied to the specific case of Belgium, which lacks a uniform system for child support determination. Using qualitative in...
Article
Women who expect an upcoming divorce have the possibility of taking action in order to protect themselves against the projected negative financial consequences. In this paper we investigate whether they do. Using retrospective data for a sample of 884 divorced women from the Divorce in Flanders (DiF)-survey, we estimate the difference in the probab...
Preprint
Full-text available
PURPOSE Currently, limited evidence-based guidelines exist for the effective management of chemotherapy induced dysgeusia in cancer outpatients. In this pilot study, we used innovative insights from gastrological sciences such as selective taste management to improve the taste of bread for cancer outpatients. We investigated whether it is feasible...
Article
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Few studies have examined the factors related to children’s perception of safety following exposure to armed conflict. This study examines the influence of sociodemographic and family factors alongside length of stay within the community on the perception of safety among children affected and displaced by armed conflict during the post-displacement...
Article
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Nonresident mothers who formally pay child support are becoming increasingly prevalent. If the profile of female payers differs from that of men or if their payment is motivated differently, existing gender‐based child support policies and enforcement strategies face significant challenges. This study uses the payment framework of male compliance t...
Book
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This open access book provides an overview of the ever-growing phenomenon of children in shared physical custody thereby providing legal, psychological, family sociological and demographical insights. It describes how, despite the long evolution of broken families, only the last decade has seen a radical shift in custody arrangements for children i...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, limited evidence-based guidelines exist for the effective management of chemotherapy induced dysgeusia in cancer outpatients. In this pilot study, we used innovative insights from gastrological sciences such as selective taste management to improve the taste of bread for cancer outpatients. We investigated whether it is feasible for canc...
Article
Full-text available
When it comes to disability, powerful ideas are articulated in and circulated through the media. Through framing analysis, this study examines how the media portray disability and people with disabilities in a sample of Flemish print news and entertainment magazines. The study aims to understand the dominant and alternative frames related to disabi...
Article
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This study considers the spillover effect of work-family enrichment in parents on the behaviour of their children. Using a mediation model with parental well-being and parenting styles, the study unravels the associations between a positive perspective on work-life balance and the outcomes in a child’s live. Using 4012 parents from the data of the...
Article
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Experiencing a divorce can be challenging and have a lasting impact on people's lives, but does it change your personality? By making use of large panel surveys from Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, intra-individual change in the Big Five personality traits of those who separated during a four-year observation, was compared to that of th...
Article
This article studies how the gender division in time spent on housework is associated with relationship dissolution among Danish couples. The use of time diary information on the actual time spent on housework for both partners leads to more precise measures than in previous studies. Two waves of the Danish Time Use Survey provided data on 3,434 co...
Chapter
Full-text available
A book series dedicated to the harmonisation and unification of family and succession law in Europe. The series includes comparative legal studies and materials as well as studies on the effects of international and European law making within the national legal systems in Europe. The books are published in English, French or German under the auspic...
Chapter
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The literature on the “boomerang effect” (returning to the parental home) is predominantly focused on young adults returning to their parents’ home in response to economic hardship. In this chapter, we study the boomerang effect in the context of divorce by looking at who returns to the parental home after a relationship break-up. The analysis is r...
Chapter
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The consequences of a relationship break-up span a wide range of foreseeable and unforeseeable effects in the life courses of adult individuals, their parents, and their children. One consistent finding in the divorce literature concerns the gender gap in the financial consequences of divorce. While there are huge international differences, it appe...
Preprint
Little is known about life satisfaction and hope in conflict displaced children. Based on the conceptualization of the ecological framework and ecological resilience framework on children wellbeing, this study explores the influence of individual factors, microsystem factors and humanitarian interventions on life satisfaction and hope of conflict d...
Article
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This study aims to define the perspectives taken by single mothers when combining work and motherhood in a stressful work-life constellation. One of the challenges for single mothers after divorce is to find a work-life balance in their single-parent family system. Regarding work-life balance, we take a General Strain Perspective, describing the wo...
Preprint
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Background: The study explores the health behavior and outcomes (bathing, diarrhea, and sickness) of children who benefitted from a WASH package intervention, children who benefitted from a non-WASH sectoral form of intervention and children with no form of humanitarian intervention in conflict-affected communities in Northeastern part of Nigeria....
Article
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Voorgaand onderzoek naar de rol van partnerkeuze in relatieontbinding toont aan dat partners die afkomstig zijn uit verschillende herkomstgroepen doorgaans een hogere kans hebben om uit elkaar te gaan. Deze onderzoeken focussen zich echter voornamelijk op huwelijken en het blijft daarom onduidelijk of dezelfde dynamieken zich ook aftekenen binnen o...
Article
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Objective This study investigated how single parents reorganize their family system after divorce. Background Families are dynamic systems that change over time and adapt to crises. Family researchers often approach divorce as a discrete event, however; and little is known about how single parents overcome this crisis and carry on with their lives...
Article
Full-text available
Social support has been shown to be important in the world of single parents. As for divorce, social support is mostly studied in a static way in academic research. Divorcing and/or separating people are in a dynamic state of a changing need for social support. This need changes over time within their process of becoming a single parent. In this ar...
Article
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Single parenthood is often approached as a problematic situation. People become single parents through divorce, separation, or bereavement and have to cope with this situation. These transitions to single parenthood lead to unforeseen problems with respect to the organization of the household. Nevertheless, there are also single parents for whom si...
Article
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Since the 1970s, several European countries have experienced high union dissolution risk as well as high unemployment rates. The extent to which adverse economic conditions are associated with union instability is still unknown. This study explores the relationship between both individual and aggregate unemployment and union dissolution risk in fiv...
Article
The balancing act between work and family life can be a challenge that affects both the parents and other members of a family. This study investigates the effect of a parent’s experience of work-family conflict on the behavior of the child. Parental well-being and parenting act as mediators, as previous studies have suggested that this relationship...
Chapter
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This study focuses on financial consequences of a separation for migrant ex-partners. International literature on economic consequences has well documented the gender effects in the consequences of splitting up or the differences between former married and cohabiting couples. Building on these insights, this chapter focuses on the heterogeneity in...
Book
Full-text available
This open access book collects the major discussions in divorce research in Europe. It starts with an understanding of divorce trends. Why was divorce increasing so rapidly throughout the US and Europe and do we see signs of a turn? Do cohabitation breakups influence divorce trends or is there a renewed stability on the partner market? In terms of...
Article
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Intergenerational solidarity is crucial to address the needs of ageing people. Numerous studies have identified geographic distance between parents and children as an important determinant of intergenerational support. This paper aims to examine to what extent parents' functional disabilities and children's support involvement relate to changing ge...
Preprint
Feeling safe is important for children’s wellbeing and a requisite in humanitarian interventions with children affected by armed conflict during the post displacement phase. This study investigates the role of demographic factors, family factors (parent-child relationship, economic stress, family conflict, family composition) and length of stay in...
Article
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The extent to which, and the reasons why, children help to care for their parents are examined in an extensive range of literature. Although care for parents essentially takes place in parent–child dyads, many of these studies acknowledge that the amount of care a child gives is generally the outcome of collective decisions in multiple-child famili...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper studies how the gender division in time spent on housework is associated with relationship dissolution among Danish couples. The use of time diary information on the actual time spent on housework for both partners, leads to more precise measures than in previous studies. With Denmark being one of the most gender egalitarian societies to...
Chapter
Full-text available
Plurality and Diversity of Family Relations in Europe - edited by Katharina Boele-Woelki August 2019
Article
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This article focuses on the labour market decisions of divorced women, surrounding the time of the factual separation. We build on earlier research, but explicitly distinguish between homemakers and unemployed women. Using retrospective data gathered from a sample of 1251 Flemish women from the Divorce in Flanders project (DiF 2009–2010), we perfor...
Article
This study investigates the difference between married and divorced parents, accounting for gender and relationship status after divorce. It also provides insight into differences within the category of divorced parents. Data from 769 married and 1,424 divorced parents were analyzed using logistic regression analysis. The results identify a complex...
Article
Discussions on policy and management initiatives to facilitate individuals throughout working careers take place without sufficient insight into how career paths are changing, how these changes are related to a modernization of life course biographies, and whether this leads to increased labour market transitions. This paper asks how new, flexible...
Article
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Experiences of family members are often overlooked in social research on gender transitions. The current article aims to address this gap by considering the experiences of partners during a gender transition, approaching this topic through role theory and the concepts of role ambiguity and role conflict. Seventeen partners and former partners were...
Preprint
Full-text available
This article focuses on the labour market decisions of divorced women, surrounding the time of the factual separation. We build on earlier research, but explicitly distinguish between homemakers and unemployed women. Using retrospective data gathered from a sample of 1,251 Flemish women from the Divorce in Flanders project (DiF, 2009-2010), we perf...
Chapter
Full-text available
This country note presents the state of leave policies in Belgium
Article
This article studies relationship break‐up among married and cohabiting couples, based on the Belgian data ofthe Crossroads Bank of Social Security. The results are based on a sample of couples marrying for the first timeor starting to cohabit for the first time between 1999 and 2001. The sample is followed over time until 2013. Thepurpose of this...
Article
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The increasing prevalence of shared care and complex families is challenging traditional approaches to child support determination based on the ‘classic’ two-parent, sole custody, post-divorce family. This article provides a comparative analysis of how these challenges are being addressed in the child support schemes of eight different countries an...
Article
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Previous research on adolescents' well-being has focused mainly on the differences between married and divorced families. Recently, interest has shifted towards the cumulative effects of the various family transitions experienced by children. To contribute to this literature, we investigate the relationship of maternal and paternal family trajector...
Chapter
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Lone parents, and lone mothers in particular, are a vulnerable group in our society. Divorce is undoubtedly one of the main forces in these processes as most lone parents have been divorced rather than seen their partner decease. This paper uses register data to look at post-divorce trajectories of parents after divorce. First, we describe the demo...
Chapter
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The purpose of this book is to approach lone parenthood from a life course perspective. Its chapters address the interdependence of multiple life domains across individuals and between individuals and institutions, as well as the relevance of individual agency and historical context. This introduction describes the phenomenon of lone parenthood acr...
Chapter
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In Belgium, lone parent families represent almost one fourth of the households with children, aside from the existence of regional differences in the phenomenon’s prevalence. Zooming in on Flanders, the poverty risk for this type of family is significantly higher compared to couple-with-children households and the general population; thus, labour m...
Article
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Objective To understand the experiences of both children and parents in families where one of the parent is transgender. Background A focus on the family environment can be found in research concerning transgender youth, but this focus is lacking in research on transgender adults. To our knowledge, research so far has not shed light on the experien...
Book
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Lone parenthood is an increasing reality in the 21st century, reinforced by the diffusion of divorce and separation. This volume provides a comprehensive portrait of lone parenthood at the beginning of the XXI century from a life course perspective. The contributions included in this volume examine the dynamics of lone parenthood in the life course...
Article
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Objective: This paper studies postseparation fertility behavior. The aim is to investigate whether, and if so how, separation affects second birth spacing in Western European countries. Methods: This analysis makes use of rich survey data from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as from Finnish register data. We...
Article
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Children are raised in various family structures after a parental divorce. Currently, research including both repartnering and the custodial arrangement when investigating parenting is scarce and mainly proceeds from a maternal perspective, ignoring potential partner effects. Consequently, we investigate differences in parenting after divorce accor...
Article
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BACKGROUND The increasing prevalence of higher-order unions is one of the major changes in familylife in recent decades.OBJECTIVE By using register data, we aim to give a unique view on how income components -amount and composition - influence the likelihood of repartnering after divorce orseparation in Belgium.METHODS We analyse a sample of 46,648...
Article
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In this paper, we investigate how associations between personality traits and divorce have changed over time. Competing hypotheses are derived based on social exchange theory, crisis theory, and changing selection into marriage. A combination of retrospective and prospective data on marriages contracted between 1972 and 2009 is used from the Britis...
Article
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This article analyses income differentials after re-entry into the labour market between people who have had a career break and people who have not by applying latent growth modelling to a sample of longitudinal register data. The results suggest that when comparing the incomes of those who return from a break with those who did not have a break th...
Article
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In the field of work–life balance, most research focuses on the reconciliation of role-related expectations that derive from the work and family spheres. This article aims to identify coping strategies that reconcile life spheres in situations that go beyond the classic two-sphere framework. We analyze the actual coping behavior of individuals jugg...
Article
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The increased variability in family types and forms of relationships is the most apparent outcome of family change in recent decades in Europe. One relationship that has emerged and recently become more visible, both in society and in science, is a ‘nonresidential partnership’ termed living apart together (LAT). We explore the meaning and incidence...
Article
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p>Lone parenthood is an increasing reality in the XXI century, reinforced by the diffusion of divorce and separation. Despite the significance of this phenomenon, current studies and official statistics say relatively little about the process leading to lone parenthood, the nature of such living arrangement (whether it is transitory, stable, or rec...
Chapter
Full-text available