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Family development

Studies in this area examine the importance of family relationships and family factors in development in various phases of the family cycle.

Ongoing research projects

University Students with Children

Students with children are a very specific group among university students. In 2009, at universities and universities of applied sciences about 4% of students had underage children; in part-time and programmes and programmes for working professionals across Switzerland 16% of students had underage children. Except for some social surveys, there is hardly any current research on the burdens of students with children, even though it can be assumed that this is a highly stressed group. This study is investigating the experience of burden and the resources of ZHAW students who have children from a psychological perspective. The study is guided strongly by concepts of work-life balance, which in turn are frequently based on stress theory and resource theory approaches. The main question concerns connections between objective and perceived burdens and mental and physical well-being and academic performance. In addition, the study is examining the extent to which social and personal resources play a role in the experience of burden and its effects.

COST-Action: Intergenerational Family Solidarity Across Europe (INTERFASOL)

The EU-funded COST Action ‘Intergenerational Family Solidarity across Europe’ (INTERFASOL) serves the networking of researchers in 28 European countries working on research in solidarity between generations in the family and in society. In interchange between researchers in different disciplines, such as demography, economics, psychology, and sociology, the aim is to examine to what extent the sociodemographic and economic challenges that Europe must face have an impact on intergenerational solidarity and the well-being of the generations. Researchers are studying topics including the aging of society, reduction in fertility, the effects of the financial crisis, and migration. Here they are also taking into consideration the larger societal context, such as the welfare systems of the different countries. The COST Action aims to identify research gaps and to process the findings on these topics so that they become available to various interest groups.