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Family life in crisis mode

FReDa based evaluation on families in the Corona pandemic

A family of four people. Walking on a sidewalk holding hands.

The Corona pandemic threw many people's everyday lives into disarray. Families with children in particular had to come to terms with completely new routines. A recently presented study by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BIB) focuses on these families. For this purpose, the researchers analysed Data from the FReDA panel, for which about 30,000 people between the ages of 18 and 49 had been interviewed.

The most important results: Families and relationship quality are the decisive factors in the Corona crisis. Working in a home office can offer positive opportunities such as higher life satisfaction. In addition, life satisfaction increased overall, despite increasing worries during the pandemic.

According to BIB Research Director Martin Bujard, the study focused particularly on the worries and stresses in spring 2021. A large number of people had not yet been vaccinated at that time and the contact restrictions represented a high burden. This was also reflected in the data, with around 60 % of respondents reporting feeling a high overall burden and around 70 % having difficulty limiting their contacts appropriately. Around 63 % of the highly educated respondents were also able to find positive aspects to the pandemic. Among the less educated, the figure was still 40 %.

The study "FReDA - The Family Demographic Panel" is being conducted jointly by Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology (ISS) at the University of Cologne, the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) and the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences GESIS. The core of the data collection consists of semi-annual repeat surveys of 18- to 49-year-old women and men in the phase of starting a family, as well as their partners, within the framework of a representative sample. The data are made available free of charge to the scientific community, the public and politicians.

FReDA is one of the largest studies in Germany that provides a representative and differentiated view of our society. What is new for a survey of this size is that a web-based survey is combined with classical surveys. The findings for Germany can be systematically compared with other countries. The data from more than 37,700 interviews are currently available.