How young adults’ appraisals of work and family goals changed over the Great Recession: An examination of gender and rural-urban differences


Publication Type Journal Article
Year of Publication 2019
Authors Recksiedler, CSettersten, RA
Journal Journal of Youth Studies
Pagination 1 – 17
Date Published 09/2019
ISSN 1367-6261

Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we examine how work and family goals of young men and women changed from before to after the Great Recession and how these changes differed for those in rural and urban areas. We focus on Germany, where the overall labor market showed a uniquely mild response to the recession, but where young adults nonetheless experienced significant economic risk relative to other age groups and where rural areas saw greater erosion of opportunity than urban areas. Consequently, young men and women in urban and more deprived rural areas may proactively adjust their plans through the re-appraisal of both work and family goals. We found that work goals declined and family goals increased for both men and women and across all community types, and especially for those who moved across community types. However, family goals were consistently higher for women. Family goals were also higher for both men and women, as well as across community types, during the peak of the recession compared to the pre- and post-recession years. In times of economic strain, young adults may therefore place greater value on family goals because investments in family goals fulfill emotional needs.

DOI 10.1080/13676261.2019.1663339
Short Title Journal of Youth Studies