Research mission

The Center for Population, Family and Health is a research center that conducts fundamental and policy-preparing research within social demography and the sociology of family, well-being and health. Through its research, the center aims to contribute to insights on family dynamics throughout the life course with special attention to health, work, intergenerational solidarity and the impact of meso and macro policies. The spearheads are the themes of family formation and dissolution, the combination of work & family and the socialization of care.

To this end, the center uses quantitative and qualitative research methods that are deployed in an advanced manner on a wide range of data sources, ranging from large-scale pan-European surveys on register data to in-depth interviews. The Center for Population, Family and Health specializes in survey methodology, event history analysis and Grounded Theory methodology. The center collects, among other things, the Flemish SHARE data, the Flemish SIV data and is involved in the Generations & Gender Programme.

Since 2015, the Center for Demography, Family and Health has been recognized as a center of excellence of the University of Antwerp within the FAMCARE consortium.

The center includes the following lines of research:

Data collection and methodology  

‚ÄčIn the first place, the center fulfills a methodological role. Building on a long tradition, the center participates in various national and international data collection projects. Extensive expertise has been built up in this field, both in CAPI and post-surveys. The center also has its own pool of interviewers who can be deployed for this purpose. In addition, extensive expertise has been built up over the years in quantitative and qualitative research methodology and analysis. The various professors in the center teach research methodology or statistics courses in the SW faculty and beyond. In addition, the methodological role is included through advice and through accessible methodological literature such as the MTSO-INFO series and Step in Statistics and Research (Acco).

Sociology of work

Within the line of  sociology of work, the emphasis is on the career of individuals and the consequences of transitions during the career on the further course of the career. In addition, the research also pays attention to the quality of the career and the end-of-career problems. At the crossroads with family sociology, attention is paid to the combination problem between family and work.

Family sociology 

The center's family sociological research line focuses on the study of causes and consequences of important life course transitions. In particular, the emphasis is on the causes and consequences of divorce and on the significance of new blended families.

Social demographics  

This line of research focuses on transitions in households, family formation, fertility and the positive aspects of migrants. Special attention is paid to the relationship between demographic processes on the one hand and changing value orientations, economic and (social) policy on the other. Building on the VUB research tradition in family formation, this expertise is further expanded in CPFH.

Sociology of care and health  

This line of research addresses a broad spectrum of health-related topics with a special focus on organizational aspects of health care (hospital and home care), task shifting and inter-professional collaboration in health care, quality of care and quality of life, sociology of chronic diseases, HIV/ AIDS care (antiretroviral treatment adherence) and international comparative health system research. This knowledge is applied in regional, national and international (South Africa) research settings.