Research mission

The Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (CLLS) is a research centre practicing fundamental and policymaking research in the fields of social demography and sociology of family, wellbeing and health. With its research, CLLS aims to contribute to the knowledge on family dynamics throughout the lifecourse with special attention to health, labour, intergenerational solidarity and the impact of meso- and macro policies. 

In the research centre, quantitative as well as qualitative methods are extensively used on a broad range of data sources from pan-European surveys, to register data and depth interviews. In particular, CLLS is specialised in survey methodology, event history analysis and grounded theory.  Furthermore, the centre collects the Flemish SHARE data and is involved in the Generations & Gender Programme.

Since 2015 CLLS is acknowledged to be a centre of excellence at the University of Antwerp in the consortium FAMCARE.


The centre includes following research topics:

Data collection and methodology

CLLS has an important methodological function. Building on a long tradition, CLLS has cooperated in a variety of national and international data collections. Expertise had been gained in both CAPI-surveys as in post-surveys, and CLLS now also has an own pool of interviewers. Over the years, an extensive expertise has been acquired in quantitative and qualitative research techniques and analysis. The professors in the research group teach various methodological courses in the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Antwerp and other institutions.

Family Sociology

The reasearch on family sociology at CLLS focuses on studying the causes and consequences of important lifecourse transitions. Emphasis is placed on the causes and consequences of divorce and new family forms. 

Social Demography 

Social demography research at CLLS is focused on the transitions in households, union formation, fertility and the position of migrants. Special attention is given to the relation between demographical processes and changing value orientations, as well as economic and social policy. 

Labour sociology

In the topic of labour sociology, there is an emphasis on individuals' careers and the outcomes of transtions within the career and its future progress.  Attention is also given to the quality of careers and problems regarding the end of careers. At the intersection with family sociology, special attention is given to the problematic combination of work and family for single parents.

Sociology of health and well-being 

This research topic deals with a broad variety of health related issues with special attention to organisational aspects of medical care (hospitals- and home based help); the task shift and inter-professional collaboration within health care, quality of care and quality of life, sociology of chronical illnesses, HIV/AIDS care and international comparative health system research. This knowledge is used in regional, national and international (South-Africa) research settings.