Journal of Population Research

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 119–142 | Cite as

The analysis of early life courses: Complex descriptions of the transition to adulthood

  • Francesco C. BillariEmail author


The quantitative analysis of life courses has to deal with a complex pattern of interrelated events and trajectories. Such a complex pattern needs complex measurement tools, even if only to describe the experience of cohorts. This paper addresses the methodological issue of describing the transition to adulthood from a life course perspective, following an event-based definition. New proposals are developed and traditional approaches are discussed, using Italy as an example. A generalization of survivor functions for the analysis of the temporal relationships between two events is introduced and applied. The paper then deals with the problem of describing the process of transition to adulthood as a whole, making use of the sequence analysis approach with special emphasis on the empirical analyses of the ‘standardization vs individualization’ hypotheses.


Formal Education Survivor Function Simultaneous Event Parental Home Optimal Match 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Demographic ResearchRostockGermany

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