Assessing the Degree of Linked Life Course Sequences of Family Dyads and Triads

Tim Liao , University of Illinois

Dyadic/triadic life course sequences can be more associated within the dyad/triad than between them and other sequences, theoretically known as the life course principle of linked lives. In this paper, I propose a method for measuring and assessing the degree of linked life course trajectories in sequence data. Specifically, the distance between the members in an observed dyad/triad is compared against a set of randomly generated dyads/triads by assuming a particular random generation mechanisms. The proportion of such distance differences provides the degree of linked life courses in such dyadic/triadic sequence data. I present a simulation study and two empirical examples—an analysis of dyadic family formation using the Longitudinal Study of Generations data and an analysis of triadic employment history using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics data, to assess the performance of the method. The simulation study and the two applications demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed method.

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 Presented in Session 101. Family Demography: Methods and Projections