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Anja Steinbach (2008)

Stepfamilies in Germany: Results of the "Generations and Gender Survey" 2005*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 33, 2/2008, p. 153-180, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398, DOI: 10.1007/s12523-009-0009-2

Abstract: The paper deals with the number of stepfamilies and stepchildren in Germany and their distribution across different types of families. The answer to this question is by no means as trivial as it may seem since appropriate data are extremely rare, not only for Germany. The analyses use the first wave of the ‘Generations and Gender Survey’ (GGS) of the German Federal Institute for Population Research. In addition to the ‘Family Survey’ of the German Youth Institute, this is the only source of data in Germany allowing for a suitable identification of stepfamilies and stepchildren. It can be shown with the aid of the GGS data that a significant proportion of families in Germany encompass step relations: 13.6 % of households with children under age of 18 comprise stepfamilies, and 10.9 % of children under the age of 18 are stepchildren. With their much more detailed coverage of all children – both those of the respondents themselves, and of their partners, within and outside the household – the GGS data permit analyses of living arrangements and filial relationships of step families far beyond the analyses carried out in official statistics. For example, it becomes possible not only to identify stepfamilies in which the partners are married, but also in which they live in non-marital co-habitation. The results point to significant differences between Eastern and Western Germany with regard to marital status.

* peer-reviewed article (original German title: Stieffamilien in Deutschland – Ergebnisse des "Generations and Gender Survey" 2005)

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