The satisfaction of parents and their children – to intergenerational transmission of subjective well-being

Steffen Kohl, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz

Factors influencing the subjective well-being have been processed extensive for different population groups in recent decades. An exception is the group of children. Over the past years children indeed moved more and more into the focus of researchers regarding their material deprivation or well-being. At the same time an important aspect remained almost unexplored: the relationship of the well-being of parents and their children. Glen Elders early results of the study "children of the great depression" indicate such a connection, which have since been largely neglected. This lecture follows Elders basic idea of the life course and introduces a way as child and parental subjective well-being can be empirically linked and analyzed. This leads to two questions: 1. Will subjective well-being transmitted intergenerational and what factors moderate this context? and 2. What explanations we can find for a possible connection? To examine these questions results of the data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) are used as longitudinal data. The panel structure of the SOEP allows linking the conditions of growing with children´s future subjective well-being. These conditions include not only the experience of poverty episodes, living conditions, socio-economic and socio-demographic household characteristics, but also the subjective wellbeing of parents. This means that subjective well-being of parents is set in relationship with the subjective well-being of their children, in which known factors on child well-being are taken into account. The results are localized and interpreted in the framework of the theory of habitus of Bourdieu.

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Presented in Session 119: Demographic change, social networks and quality of life