Family relationships

Publication type

Book Chapter

Authors

John Ermisch, Maria Iacovou and Alexandra J. Skew

Publication date

Series Number

CH. 2

Summary

This chapter has two main aims: to provide information about how Understanding Society can be used for research on family issues, and to give examples of insights into family life which can be provided by this data.  We focus on two sets of relationships – those between married or cohabiting partners, and those between parents and their children. Our analysis shows that happiness with one’s partner declines with the duration of the union and with a person’s age; it is higher for marriages than for cohabiting unions; and it is higher for better-educated people.  In turn, children (aged 10-15) are happier with their family situation if their parents are happier with their relationship with each other.  Frequent quarrels between parents and children go hand in hand with children who are less happy with their family situation; children who talk about important matters with their parents also report higher levels of happiness with their family situation.

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