Economic crisis and inequalities in family lives: evidence from a large population survey in Italy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The present study is aimed to gain better insights into how families are affected by the crisis and which factors are likely to have the greatest impact in helping families to cope with these challenges. The data used for this study were derived from a recent large population-survey on family relations in Italy (3.527 individuals interviewed with CATI system). A cluster analysis by the economic condition was carried out and two groups of subjects were identified: those who, in the current crisis, are forced to fall into debt and those who manage to make savings. The two groups are clearly differentiated. Those who have a low level of education, unemployed, redundant and atypical workers, divorced people and people with children live in a situation of greater difficulty (make debts). The analysis of this group, comparatively, highlights how the economic difficulties not only affects the daily lives of people from a material point of view, but have consequences also on relational functioning: there are negative effects on couple satisfaction, parental alliance, parental self-efficacy, and perceived parental stress. Moreover, these negative effects are extended also to the perception of the social context, undermining the sense of trust, the cooperative attitude and social capital. So, whilst financial and social difficulties are affecting a growing number of households, what is the role of the family? Is the family the ultimate bulwark against the crisis as highlighted by many studies? Results will be discussed trying to answer to these questions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th ESA (European Sociological Association) Conference Differences, inequalities and sociological imagination
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventDifferences, inequalities and sociological imagination - Prague
Duration: 25 Aug 201528 Aug 2015


ConferenceDifferences, inequalities and sociological imagination


  • economic crisis
  • family


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