- The timing of parenthood and its effect on social contact and support
- Demographic Research
- Article number
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The objective of this study is to investigate how the timing of parenthood affects social contacts and support.
Fixed-effects models on 12 waves of the Swiss Household Panel (1999-2010) are used to analyse how social relationships with relatives, friends and neighbours change after people have children and how these changes depend on the timing of parenthood.
The models show that parenthood increases contact with neighbours and decreases contact with friends. However, there are differences based on whether parenthood is early, on time, or late and based on gender. The earlier men and women have children, the harder it is to keep in contact with friends and to gain contact with neighbours. Later in life, the differences between early, on-time and late parents tend to decline, except for contact with friends for fathers.
We conclude that the timing of parenthood has a substantial impact on how people’s social networks change, especially shortly after they become parents.
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