The diversity of pathways to adulthood: a life course typologies approach

Nicolas Robette, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Youth is often depicted as a transition from childhood to adulthood in the familial, residential and occupational fields. This approach brings in the idea of thresholds, such as leaving the parental home, getting married, having a first child or having a stable job. In practice, it has the advantage of allowing relatively simple comparisons of pathways to adulthood in time and space. However the study of thresholds presents a few limits. First, it hides the problem of the reversibility of events, their non-occurrence and the difficulty of defining clearly bounded markers. Second, it barely apprehends the links between familial, residential and occupational fields. Finally, it produces aggregated outcomes, partly hiding the heterogeneity of individual processes of transition to adulthood. This work attempts to overstep these reservations by tackling pathways to adulthood through trajectory typologies built by means of Optimal Matching Analysis techniques.

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Presented in Session 43: Life Course

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