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PopDigests

PopDigests are short, comprehensive summaries of research results with a link to the original publication (if accessible online). This allows population experts and other interested audiences to be able to easily access information to the latest research results. 

Attitudes towards immigrants in Switzerland
Education is one of the most important determinants of citizens’ attitudes towards immigrants. Positive attitudes can be related to a liberalising effect from education, which fosters tolerance and egalitarian values, while negative views can be driven by the perception of so-called intergroup competition: when natives tend to feel threatened by the presence of immigrants, for example, in the labour market. To distinguish the underlying mechanisms of this relationship in Switzerland, Bram Lancee and Oriane Sarrasin tested two dimensions of education along the life course: how people’s attitudes change as they pass through education, and how these differ between individuals that have followed different paths. [...]
How is cohabitation acknowledged in family policies across Europe?
Relationships, their typology and meanings have profoundly changed over the past decades in Western societies. These changes constitute an important challenge for welfare states because policies need to take into account new living arrangements in order to support all types of families. Nora Sánchez Gassen and Brienna Perelli-Harris examine the incidence of cohabitation and match it with the associated legal regulation across eleven European countries and Russia in order to quantify the number of couples that fall outside the scope of classical family policies. [...]
Living conditions predict residential satisfaction of older people in Europe
Living conditions can affect the quality of life of older people in two different ways. The first is objective and regards the characteristics of dwellings. The second, instead, is subjective and respond to elder’s perceptions of how they accomplish the fulfilment of their needs. Both, together with their individual characteristics, build what has been defined as “residential satisfaction”. [...]
Looking after your grandchildren will make you feel younger
Population ageing has recently boosted an extensive debate about how to measure individual aging. The chronological age, even if conventionally used, is somehow limited because it does not capture people’s own representation of aging, that is, how old people actually feel they are. In their study on the United States, Valeria Bordone and Bruno Arpino test the association between subjective age, as an alternative measure to chronological age, and two important social roles for older adults: having grandchildren and providing grandchild care. Their findings reveal that grandparenthood strongly shapes people’s own experience of ageing. [...]
Educational levels crucial for explaining health inequalities in Europe
Currently people are living longer lives but not everyone reaches advanced age in good health. This is because health conditions vary among population groups and across territories, giving space to so-called health inequalities. As Benedetta Pongiglione and Albert Sabater confirm in their study, one of the most important features influencing differences in individual health outcomes is socio-economic status: In Europe, overall, highly-educated individuals tend to live longer and in better health than their less-educated counterparts.  [...]
Children in the household of Polish migrants decrease the propensity to leave the Netherlands
Polish migration within Europe has increased sharply since Poland’s entry to the European Union in 2004. Over the past decade, Poles are the largest group of foreign nationals settling in the Netherlands. Still, little is still known about the link between migration and family behaviours of this group of immigrants. Tom Kleinepier, Helga A. G. de Valk, and Ruben van Gaalen address this gap in their latest study and find six different types of family life paths among young adult Polish migrants. They also identify important gender differences in family and migration behaviour. Polish women tend to migrate with their partners, while men predominantly migrate alone and are more likely to return to the country of origin. [...]
Women who restart their careers after caring for family are healthier in later life
Maximising health in later life is one of the most important policy issues for the welfare regimes of ageing societies. At the same time, health outcomes in later life can only be fully understood when also taking into account past experiences. For example, a woman who worked during most of her life might find herself with more economic and social resources later in life than a woman who mostly devoted her time to family responsibilities, and such accumulation of resources can positively influence her general health.  [...]
Leaving the joint-home after separation
Currently a large share of marriages in Europe ends in separation. Marital separation not only causes psychological and emotional stress, but it also affects residential mobility. This occurs because, generally, at least one of the ex-partners leaves the shared dwelling after separation. In this study, Philipp Lersch and Sergi Vidal analyse residential moves to owned and rented dwellings by relationship status and gender, and examine selection processes between ownership and separation in Britain and Germany. [...]
Dogs can improve the overall health of their owners at older ages
Dog ownership can positively influence levels of physical activity, but there is little evidence when it comes to older adults. [...]
More public childcare vacancies can support maternal employment and improve children’s future development
Public child care provisions play a fundamental role in modern societies: They facilitate mothers’ participation in the labour market and foster children’s educational outcomes. If children spend much of the day in child care institutions, their mothers may decide to return to employment after childbirth, better reconciling work and family life. At the same time, providing education to children at early stages of life seems to have a positive impact on later social, behavioural, and cognitive outcomes.  [...]

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