Marco Tosi

Marital Break-Up and Intergenerational Relationships in Italian Families

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Marital Break-Up; Parent-Child Contact; Co-Residence; Gender Inequality; Italy.

Some studies have found that marital break-up has a negative impact on individuals' well-being and their children's life chances; while others have shown that divorced parents - especially fathers - have less frequent contact and lower quality of relationships with adult children than married parents. In this study, I adopt a within-family approach to investigate how the negative effect of parental divorce is distributed between father- and mother-child relationships within the same family. I use data from the Family and Social Subject Survey 2009 to examine parent-child contact frequency many years after parental divorce. In line with previous research, the results show that fathers' disadvantages are larger among divorced than intact families. Gender inequality decreases as children are older at the time of parental divorce and increases as they live with the divorced mother for longer. The findings show that the negative effect of parental divorce on father-child contact is partly explained by the time that children and fathers spent under the same roof, thus suggesting that shared residence has important implications on later intergenerational relationships.

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