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Transitions in partnership and parental status, gender, and political and civic participation
European Sociological Review
Participation research has documented the effect of partner and parenthood status, thereby ignoring the dynamic aspect of status changes. Based on theoretical insights on changes in political resources and interest, this study looks at partnership and parenthood as dynamic characteristics. Using data from the Swiss Household Panel (SHP), it examines to what extent important life-cycle transitions in partnership and parental status influence various forms of political and civic participation and whether they affect men and women's participation differently. Our regression analyses reveal that particularly the entry into separation or divorce is a main key point driving change in political and civic participation. Its effect is also highly gendered. Following separation, women participate less in voting, whereas men's participation rates are not affected in a negative way. Separation even increases men's level of anticipated activism. Children entering or leaving the household do not seem to represent key points of change in political and civic participation of the couple. Yet, the transition to having school-aged children significantly increases some types of participation, at least for women.
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