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A life course perspective on social and family formation transitions to adulthood of young men and women in Mexico

Mejia Pailles, Gabriela (2012) A life course perspective on social and family formation transitions to adulthood of young men and women in Mexico. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This research examines the trajectories that young men and women in Mexico experienced during their transition to adulthood in the 1980s and 1990s. The study, particularly, considers two groups of significant markers of adulthood: social transitions (leaving education, entry into the labour force, parental home leaving), and family formation transitions (first sex, first partnership, and first birth). The thesis investigates the ways that these transitions were experienced among Mexican youth: first, by establishing the main interactions between social transitions and family formation transitions to adulthood; and second, by providing evidence of the main trajectories followed by young men and women in their passage to adulthood from a life course perspective. Applying Event History techniques to retrospective data from the 2000 Mexican National Youth Survey, results show that young men and women experienced different patterns of trajectories in their transit to adulthood marked by a strong gender component. While young men showed a lag between the experience of social and family formation transitions characterized by work-oriented trajectories, young women often experienced almost simultaneous occurrence of social and family formation transitions leading to predominantly family-oriented trajectories to adulthood. Differences between urban and rural respondents were also found to be significant. Another conclusion of the study is that many young people found great difficulty in obtaining their first job after leaving education, leading to high unemployment. Despite the lack of employment opportunities for Mexican young people, family formation transitions were not substantially postponed until later ages unlike many developed nations. The findings also confirm the importance of education on the experience of transitions to adulthood. The study shows the need to restructure the Mexican educational system to enable young people to work and study simultaneously, without having to leave education immediately after entering the labour force. These findings highlight the need to strengthen and reinforce current education policies to stimulate labour force participation of young women.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Gabriela Mejia Pailles
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Murphy, Michael J. and Gjonca, Arjan
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/357

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