Entry into the Postparental Phase of the Family Life Cycle

  • Barbara Wawrzyniak
Keywords: Postparental family phase, Move out of the last child, Empty nest, Panel study, Cox regression


The article examines entry into the postparental phase of the family life cycle, which is the familial situation when all children have moved out of the parental household. We position this event chronologically within the life course and examine the probability of occurrence. Using panel data (3 survey waves) covering a period of 40 years of a cohort of former North-Rhine Westphalian grammar school pupils, event history models (Cox regression) are employed to analyse what factors accelerate or decelerate the transition. This revealed that the parent’s individual biography (in particular the age at the own move out, age at the birth of the first child and the number of children) has a major impact on the time of occurrence, while the occupational history has no effect. In addition, sons delay the transition, while children’s academic studies and occupation accelerate it.
How to Cite
Wawrzyniak, B. 2015. Entry into the Postparental Phase of the Family Life Cycle. Comparative Population Studies. 40, 1 (Feb. 2015). DOI:https://doi.org/10.12765/CPoS-2015-01.
Research Articles