Coping with Complex Individual Histories: A Comparison of Life Course Methods with an Application to Partnership Transitions in Norway

Julia Mikolai, University of Southampton
Mark J. Lyons-Amos, Institute of Education

As variation in the pattern of family life courses has increased over the past 50 years, the techniques available to analyse life course data have also expanded and research tends to be interested in explaining more complexity in the family life course. Therefore, it is necessary to extend our methodological toolkit by increasing the complexity of event history models or by applying other promising methods. The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast sequence analysis, latent class growth models, and multistate event history models, to studying the family life course. The advantages and weaknesses of each of these methods are highlighted by applying them to the same empirical problem. Using data from the first wave of the Norwegian Generations and Gender Survey from 2007/2008, changes in women’s partnership status across the life course are modelled, with education as the primary covariate of interest.

  See paper

Presented in Session 214: Statistical Methods for Demographic Analysis