Does the family system in Romania follow the path of Southern European countries?

Mihaela Hărăguş, Babes-Bolyai University, Centre for Population Studies
Cristina Oaneş, Babes-Bolyai University
Maria Castiglioni, Università di Padova
Paul-Teodor Hărăguş, Babes-Bolyai University

Our paper is organized along the concept of intergenerational relationships, on six sections that focus on family in the social context, household structure and patterns of leaving parental home, family connected demographic behaviours (fertility, marriage, cohabitation, non-marital births and divorce), values and attitudes toward the family and ending with support for family members in later life stages, each section addressing the comparison between Romania and Italy. We discuss many similarities between the two countries in what family connected behaviours are concerned: low spread of intermediate living arrangements (cohabitation or living alone), leaving the parental home especially for marriage, increasing number of families with only one child, low divorce rates. In Romania, housing situation plays an important part in discouraging cohabitation. Compared with Italians, young Romanians leave their parents’ homes earlier, as the separate housing is an important aspect of the cultural model that insist that the youngsters should start their “real life” as soon as possible. People who experienced their life course transitions during the communist regime wish for their children similar smooth transitions in life; the support they received from the state at that time (especially in housing) is now offered by the family to their children. In what concerns the household structure, a common trait for both countries is the large widespread of the nuclear model of family. The weight of this living arrangement varies between the two countries across the age-groups, due to the differences in the patterns of living parental home and the formation of their own family, that are shaped at their turn by cultural, economical and social norms. The situation of the elderly is very similar between Romania and Italy: the social policies place the responsibility for care on the family, as the number of old people living in institutions is very small.

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Presented in Poster Session 1

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