Analysing Transitions in Intimate Relationships with Panel Data


  • Michael Feldhaus Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Institute for Social Sciences
  • Richard Preetz University of Bremen, SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy



Intimate relationships, Panel data, Life course transitions, Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce


Panel data on intimate relationships are becoming increasingly available, enabling a closer examination and deeper understanding of why and how they develop over time. The aim of this review is to illustrate to what extent demographic research has made progress in understanding the dynamics of intimate relationships by examining panel data. We focus on hypotheses about key transitions throughout the progression of intimate relationships, ranging from union formation up to cohabitation, marriage, divorce and repartnering. For every hypothesis, we will present findings from cross-sectional data and illustrate whether the use of panel data and longitudinal methods modified the previous understandings of transitions in intimate relationships.

* This article belongs to a special issue on "Identification of causal mechanisms in demographic research: The contribution of panel data".




How to Cite

Feldhaus, M. and Preetz, R. 2021. Analysing Transitions in Intimate Relationships with Panel Data. Comparative Population Studies. 46, (Aug. 2021). DOI:



Research Articles