Skip to main content


Family Trajectories and Life Satisfaction: The Swiss Case

Category: Book chapters


Wernli B., Zella S. (2018) Family Trajectories and Life Satisfaction: The Swiss Case. In: Tillmann R., Voorpostel M., Farago P. (eds) Social Dynamics in Swiss Society. Life Course Research and Social Policies, vol 9. Springer, Cham.

Focusing on the last 14 waves of the Swiss Household Panel (2001–2014), we examined the impact of five family events (formation of the union, transition from cohabitation to marriage, birth of child/ren, dissolution of the union and departure of children from the family nest) on life satisfaction. Analyses were performed separately for women and men, and we controlled for demographics (age), economics (household income, education level, satisfaction with financial situation), health (impediment, satisfaction with health) and social interaction parameters (participation in clubs or other groups, satisfaction of free time, leisure activities and personal relationships). We adopted a life course perspective and used a multilevel approach to study individual trajectories on the mid-term (5 years) with an aim at understanding not only the impact of several events on well-being but at capturing its duration. Results show that most of the considered steps of the family construction and dissolution have an impact, which is different across time and between females and men.