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Young Canadians’ family formation: variations in delayed start and complex pathways

Zenaida R. Ravanera, University of Western Ontario

This paper focuses on family formation of Canadians born in 1966-85. Studies have shown that in comparison to older cohorts, young Canadians delay their transition to adulthood and they follow more complex pathways in the formation of the family through cohabitation, marriage, and parenthood. However, within cohorts, there are variations in the general trends in timing and trajectories. Using a life course perspective, we explore the influences on family formation of social status, cultural orientation, and opportunity structures. This is done using retrospective data collected through the 1995 and 2001 General Social Surveys on Family History merged with characteristics of communities and larger aggregations, which are derived from the 1996 and 2001 censuses respectively. Techniques of event history analysis, mainly, life tables, hazards models, and non-Markov state-space approach to trajectory analysis are used.

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Presented in Session 43: Innovative methods for the study of family formation