Interfasol Final Conference: book of abstracts


Here you can download a book of abstracts of presentations at the upcoming Interfasol Final Conference in Luxembourg .
Abstract_Book (PDF file)

See also: INTERFASOL Conference Program and Slides of conference presentations

Book of Abstracts


“Intergenerational Family Solidarity Across Europe”

18-20 April 2018 Belval Campus, Maison du Savoir, MSA 3.520

ISCH COST Action IS1311


MC Chair: Prof. Dr. Anne Marie Fontaine (Portugal)

MC Vice Chair: Prof. Dr. Clare Holdsworth (UK)

Local Organizer: Dr. Isabelle Albert (Luxembourg)

Local Support: Karin Roth (Luxembourg)

Visit for further information regarding the INTERFASOL COST Action.

Keynote lectures

Cultures of Care
Jaan Valsiner, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, INSIDE, University of Luxembourg

The phenomena of care are a special group of interpersonal relations that involve (a) asymmetry of social power and (b) mutuality of the carer <> cared relationship. Its starting base is inevitably transgenerational— the experience of receiving care is ontogenetic. From the perspective of cultural psychology of semiotic mediation the processes of caring involve the development of meta-level hyper-generalized signs that mark otherwise mundane acts of everyday living as having special meaning of caring for the other.  As the relationship is mutual, it entails its corollary—caring for the self of the carer in the process of caring. This mutuality has implications for the education of professionals for professions where caring for others is of primary importance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jaan Valsiner is a cultural psychologist with a consistently developmental axiomatic base that is brought to analyses of any psychological or social phenomena. He is the founding editor (1995) of the Sage journal, Culture & Psychology. He is currently Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark.  He has published and edited around 40 books, the most pertinent of which are The guided mind (Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 1998),  Culture in minds and societies (New Delhi: Sage, 2007), and Invitation to Cultural Psychology (London: Sage, 2014).  He has been awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize of 1995 in Germany, and the Hans-Kilian-Preis of 2017, for his interdisciplinary work on human development, and Senior Fulbright Lecturing Award in Brazil 1995-1997. He has been a visiting professor in Brazil, Japan, Australia, Estonia. Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.  


Cross-National Differences in Intergenerational Family Relations: The Influence of Public Policy Arrangements (download presentation slides)
 Pearl A. Dykstra, Department of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Focusing mostly on Europe, I will talk about how the research on cross-national differences in intergenerational family relations has moved from basic descriptions to a focus on understanding how support exchanges are shaped by macro-level processes. A key issue concerns generational interdependence, the extent to which public policy arrangements impose reliance on older and younger family members or enable individual autonomy. Real theoretical progress is visible in three areas of research. The first pertains to analyses at the micro level of how family members actually respond to the incentives that different macro contexts provide. The generosity or restrictedness of public provisions variably releases or necessitates normative obligations in interdependent family relationships. The second area of progress involves analyses of the implications of specific policies rather than policy packages for gender and socioeconomic inequality. The third area of progress is a more nuanced view on the familialism-individualism divide. These three areas provide inspiring examples for future investigations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pearl Dykstra has a chair in Empirical Sociology and is Director of Research of the Department of Public Administration and Sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Previously, she had a chair in Kinship Demography at Utrecht University (2002-2009) and was a senior scientist at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) in The Hague (1990-2009). Her publications focus on intergenerational solidarity, aging societies, family change, aging and the life course, and late-life well-being. She is an elected member of the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2004) and previous Vice-President of the KNAW (2011-2016), elected Member of the Dutch Social Sciences Council (SWR, 2006), elected fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (2010), and elected member of Academia Academia Europaea (2016). In 2015 she was appointed as member of the High Level Group of scientists who advise the College of European Commissioners, and currently serves as its Deputy Chair.


Putting Effort Into Social Life: Principles of Regulating Relationships
Frieder R. Lang, Institute of Psychogerontology, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU)

Across adulthood individuals strive to maximize meaningful social contacts in their social life. The diversity, variability and dynamics of social life within and outside the family reflect an individual’s capability to adapt to social challenges and constraints across adulthood. For example, perceiving loss or lack of personal relationships may activate compensatory or substitution strategies to maintain well-being. Also, perceiving finitude is associated with shifts of priorities in one’s social life across adulthood. Individuals often selectively keep up specific contacts with others even when perceiving emotional distance or unbalanced exchanges. Such personal effort in social life pertains to engagement in a relationship despite perceived or anticipated burden. It has been suggested that there exist two basic principles of relationship maintenance that regulate the individual’s social fabric across adulthood and across cultures: the regulation of psychological closeness and the balancing of social exchange. The two principles follow age-differential trajectories over the life course. The relational functions of the two mechanisms can be illustrated with respect to differentiating of relationship types within and outside the kinship system and with respect to anticipated gains or losses in caregiving decisions.  It is shown that until late in life individuals remain capable of maximizing positive social contacts in accordance with their needs and goals. The lecture will close with a discussion of some implications that result from such considerations for future cross-cultural research on intergenerational relationships.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Frieder R. Lang is chair and full professor (W3) of Psychology and Gerontology, and director of the Institute of Psychogerontology at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany. He is head and director of the Interdisciplinary Center of Aging Research at FAU and currently Associate Dean.  He was a fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute of Human Development (Berlin), and a visiting scholar at the University of Stanford. He has worked in several international consortiums in the field of aging research, and serves currently as convenor and executive member of the standing committee on geropsychology of the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) and as Editor-in-Chief of “GeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry. His research focuses on successful aging, family, kinship and social relationships across the life span, motivation, health prevention and behaviour in late life.


Intergenerational Transfers in Europe: What can we Learn from SHARE? (watch video or download presentation slides)
Howard Litwin, Israel Gerontological Data Center, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The lecture reviews the state of private financial and time transfers among the 50+ population in Europe by means of data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. Early studies have shown that older people remain active in the provision of assistance and that complementarity occurs more frequently than does substitution when formal services  enter the caregiving arena. Moreover, data also suggest that private financial transfers are increasing in most of the SHARE countries while time transfers are declining. In addition, the economic crisis of 2008 has clearly impacted the transfer trends.

SHARE maps the personal social networks of its respondents. The data suggest that the exchange of help with children divides almost equally between children who are confidants (i.e. part of the personal social network) and those who are not. In comparison, help to or from parents among Europeans aged 50+  is rare, and those involved in the exchange are mostly not confidants.

Does confidant status matter in caregiving? One study found that caring for confidants is less depressing than is caring for persons who are not. However, another examination reveals that this same distinction does not seem to matter in the case of self-rated health and doctor visits.

Finally, a recent study of 13,507 caregivers from 12 SHARE countries (Wave 5) found that better health among caregivers was associated with living in a service-based country (compared to living in a family-based care country). Furthermore, non-financial support measures were found to have had a larger protective impact than financial support measures did.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Howard Litwin works in the field of social gerontology. His empirical research addresses the correlates and determinants of well-being in late-life. His work seeks to clarify how the social networks of older people influence perceptions, feelings and actions that, in turn, contribute to aging well. He is Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University and the founding Head of the Israel Gerontological Data Center (IGDC). He is also the Principal Investigator for SHARE-Israel, the Israeli component of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe, and the Coordinator of the Social Network area for SHARE. Prof. Litwin is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), and a former co-editor of the European Journal of Ageing.



Invited Symposium on Intergenerational Solidarity and Technology, Chair: Dr. Thomas Boll (Luxembourg)

Barriers and Facilitators for the use of assistive technologies for activities of daily living (download presentation slides)
Afsaneh Abrilahij & Thomas Boll, University of Luxembourg

Many older people have functional impairments which increase their risk of losing the ability to live autonomously and to become dependent on care by others. However, assistive technologies (ATs) can help to overcome some limitations of activities of daily living and can thus be assumed to prevent, delay or reduce the need for personal long-term care as well as the burden on caring family members (e.g., spouses, adult children). Yet, the use rate of ATs is still rather low. This paper reviews positive effects of ATs and factors that influence their use. We performed systematic literature searches in PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and Google scholar databases. We found convergent results that the use of ATs for several kinds of activities of daily living such as self-care and mobility was associated with a reduced amount of self-reported personal (in particular informal) care hours. Regarding factors of ATs use, we found that feeling loneliness, cognitive impairments, and difficulty of use were some of barriers for the use of ATs. There is converging evidence that indicators of situation of need (in particular: disabilities in preforming self-care activities) are associated with an increased use of ATs. Slight to moderate functional limitations, chronic illnesses, and home-based training were some of the facilitators for the use of ATs. We concluded with recommendations for further improvement of studies relevant to ATs use.


Invited Symposium on Old-Age and Social Exclusion – ROSEnet, Chair: Dr. Isabelle Tournier (Luxembourg)

Social Exclusion and Life-Course Neighbourhood Relationships: Inter-Generational Perspectives
Kieran Walsh, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, National University of Ireland Galway

Dominant urban settlement patterns mean that questions about enhancing multidimensional social inclusion across the life course need to be explored in the context of urban neighbourhoods. There is a growing body of evidence that place of residence impacts on participation in a range of different areas of life, and subsequently on different forms of health and well-being. This is particularly true for potnetially vulnerable population groups where environmental control and choice can be limited. Despite this, how urbanised spatial aspects of exclusion evolve over the life course and are manifest for such groupings is poorly understood. 

This paper draws on a voice-led qualitative design, to explore the role of life-course relationships with place in shaping the inclusion and exclusion of older people, people with disabilities and children and youth in diverse urban neighbourhoods. Involving 153 participants in six neighbourhoods across three cities, data was collected through: participatory focus groups; life-course interviews; go-along interviews. Implicating the intertwined trajectories of participants and their urban settings, findings illustrate that the emergence and influence of exclusionary mechanisms is a function of the life and residential pathways of individuals, negotiation of shared space and the development of the neighbourhood itself.


Social Exclusion and Service Use in Older Age: Recent Evidence from the European Context (download presentation slides)
Giovanni Lamura1, Veerle Draulans2, Francesco Barbabella1, Valentina Hlebec3, Rytis Maskeliūnas4 and Anu Siren5

1National Institute of Health and Science on Aging (INRCA), Ancona, 2University of Leuven, Belgium, 3University of Ljubljana, 4Kaunas University of Technology, 5The Danish National Centre for Social Research.

This presentation will provide an overview of recent trends observed in Europe with regard to service use in older age, paying attention to their implications in terms of social exclusion. Data will come from different secondary sources analysed through a literature review carried out within the EU-funded COST Action ROSEnet. As highlighted by available findings, the lack of or a difficult access to services of different kinds – such as for instance transportation, care or banking services – contribute to social exclusion in older age, especially in rural contexts and among the digitally unskilled. Challenges in three critical policy areas will be particularly illustrated: care services, transportation and ICTs. As for the first, findings show that material deprivation might be prevented by public investments in social protection and healthcare; but also that inadequate training of health professionals makes it more difficult for vulnerable groups to use services. With regard to transportation, lack of transports might exclude older adults from employment, shopping, cultural & religious activities. When this is the case, driving cessation implies a significant decrease in social integration and connectedness, so spatial planning should become a key component of policy measures in this area. Finally, ICT-based tools might represent promising means to improve access to different services. To this purpose, however, digital literacy represents a crucial factor, and efforts are needed to improve it, especially among the least educated groups, as this would contribute also to make the use of ICT easier to improve safety and socialization in later life.


The influence of Time and Context on Social Exclusion from Social Relations in Rural Areas of Wales (download presentation slides) Bethan Winter & Vanessa Burholt, Centre for Innovative Ageing (CIA), College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University

Wales, the UK and Europe are facing many challenges relating to demographic changes and economic conditions. Over the last century rural areas have undergone significant changes including transformations in the local economy, rural decline, changes in family structure and community relationships, and increased population turnover. It is likely that these changes will impact upon older people’s experience of exclusion from social relations in rural areas.    This presentation draws on qualitative data from rural areas in South Wales. A case study approach was adopted which used life history interviews (n = 30) and focus groups (n=3) with older people aged ≥ 60 years.     Adopting a Critical Human Ecological Framework uncovered new and original evidence regarding the relative nature of exclusion. This demonstrate that an older person’s exclusion can only be understood when considered in relation to the time and context within which they live. Drawing on social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954) the relative nature of rural-dwelling older people’s exclusion from social resources manifested in two ways: (i) participants’ compared their current situation with their earlier lives (temporal self-comparison) which they described in positive terms when strong and extensive social resources existed; (ii) participants made negative comparisons with younger cohorts and migrants who had moved to the rural areas (group comparisons) whom they felt did not contribute or integrate into the community. 


Addressing Social Exclusion: Promoting  the Benefits of Intergenerational Learning in Higher Education
Trudy Corrigan, School of Policy and Practice, Institute of Education, Dublin City University

Between 2008 to 2016, Dublin City University implemented an innovative intergenerational learning programme (DCUILP) to evaluate the benefits of learning between older and younger people in higher education. One of the first intergenerational learning programmes introduced into higher education in Ireland, it aimed to address the issue of social exclusion in educational practices for older people. This was to address the lack of representation of older people in universities at national and global level. Intergenerational Learning has been defined as a practice which ‘aims  to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities.’ (Beth Johnson Foundation, April 2001).

The DCU ILP  recognised the value of intergenerational learning as an emerging pedagogical practice  relevant for all ages as part of   21st century learning. The reciprocal benefits include the visibility of older people in higher education and the importance of social engagement to address social exclusion for older people. In addition, it demonstrated the importance of assisting educational opportunities to promote the benefits of a stimulated mind essential  for cognitive functioning  and independent living as we age. 

In 2016, a research study was undertaken by the DCU students  to evaluate the benefits, if any, of this programme for both the older and  younger students engaged in this programme together. This study highlights  innovative empirical evidence  which demonstrates  the importance  of the student voice in the design and development of this programme and research study. The findings highlight the  unexpected outcomes including how engagement with older people assisted the full time students  with their personal and professional development. For the older students the benefits included the  impact of their contribution to social and  cultural capital in higher education teaching, learning and research.

The study demonstrates the benefits of intergenerational learning as an example of good practice which assists with  combating social exclusion for older people who want to continue to remain mentally active and engaged in learning opportunities suitable to their needs. It highlights how similar programmes have the potential to be applied to other higher education institutes with the same positive outcomes for both cohorts.  It advocates that higher education institutes need to lead in their exemplary role  through greater promotion of  intergenerational practices which support  holistic  benefits  such as social engagement for both older and younger people’s participation in teaching and learning in higher education together. This practice supports breaking down ageist attitudes and stereotyping and in the process, it promotes relationship- building between generations which is beneficial for the public good.    


Symposium on Intergenerational Family Solidarity, Well-Being & Health, Chairs: Dr. Isabelle Albert (Luxembourg) & Prof. Dr. Beate Schwarz (Switzerland); Discussant: Prof. Dr. Gisela Trommsdorff (Germany)

Inequality and intergenerational support in Europe (download presentation slides)
Martina Brandt & Christian Deindl, TU Dortmund

In times of rapid demographic change and population ageing, rising inequalities in healthy ageing and support for frail older people are of major societal concern and put families as well as states under pressure. This talk will focus on contextual influences on (inequalities in) support from a European perspective in order to find out if and how such developments can be modified by social policies. It will consider the links between informal (family) support and formal (state) support, gender inequalities in support within different care regimes, and the relation between transfers in a three-generational setting and social inequality on the individual and regional level based on the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe.

Positive and negative life events and well-being across age groups (download presentation slides)
Ljiljana Kaliterna Lipovcan1, Andreja Brajsa-Zganec1, Zvjezdana Prizmic Larsen2, Renata Franc1 and Ines Sucic1

1Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, Zagreb, 2Washington University, St. Louis,

The aim of this study was to explore age differences in the frequency of positive and negative events, and its associations with well-being.

Data were collected from the first wave of a longitudinal research project on well-being and life events in Croatia (CRO-WELL project). The sample of adult Internet users was divided in three age groups: younger (N=2115, age 18-30 years), middle-aged (N=2517, age 31-54 years) and older (N=387, age 55-85 years) adults. Participants self-reported Life satisfaction, Scale of Positive and Negative Experience, and the frequency of 8 positive and 7 negative events occurring during the previous year.

Younger adults reported more positive events than the other two groups, while no differences were found in the frequency of negative events. More positive and less negative events were significant predictors of better life satisfaction for younger and middle-aged, but not for older adults. More positive and less negative events were predictors of higher positive affect among all three age groups. Less positive and more negative events were predictors of higher negative affect for younger and middle-aged, but for older adults only negative events were associated with higher negative affect. These associations remained after controlling for gender, marital status, income, and education level in analyses.

Age effects on covariations between life events and cognitive and affective well-being are explained within socioemotional selectivity theory and older people’s better regulation of their emotional experience.


Life satisfaction in unemployed couples: the role of family cohesion and gender effects

Joyce Aguiar, Marisa Matias & Anne Marie Fontaine, University of Porto

 Family cohesion or family solidarity may be defined as shared affection, support and caring among family members. This family support may be particularly relevant when families face socio-economic difficulties such as those caused by unemployment. In fact, family support has been found as a source of adaptation for individuals, predicting wellbeing and life-satisfaction. Additionally, most studies have detailed how the condition of unemployment endangers family relations, but few have analyzed the protective role of cohesion in adults facing unemployment. To our knowledge, no study has addressed in a dyadic manner how family cohesion links with life satisfaction of both couple members. In this study, we aim to investigate how perceptions of family cohesion affects own and partner’s levels of life satisfaction when one of is unemployed, differentiating the gender of the unemployed member.

The sample is composed of 236 Portuguese and Brazilian couples (n= 158 women unemployed/men employed; n = 78 women employed/men unemployed). Actor effects, partner effects and gender differences were analyzed, resorting to the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM).

Results show that, controlling for country, when women are unemployed, levels of family cohesion predict both own and partner levels of life satisfaction; while when men are the ones unemployed, only actor effects are found: own perception of family cohesion links with own satisfaction with life but not with partners’ satisfaction. These results underscore the relevance of family cohesion to families’ wellbeing and highlight that when women are unemployed perceptions of family caring and support reverberate to both couple members.

Persons with younger-onset dementia: Family caregivers’ stigmatic experiences and well-being

Carmit-Noa Shpigelman & Perla Werner

Department of Community Mental Health, University of Haifa

Recently, research has focused on understanding the needs of persons with younger-onset dementia (under the age of 65 years) and their family caregivers who often experience stigmatic beliefs. However, to date, research has not provided a thorough and deep understanding of the stigma formation process and its consequences in terms of well-being, as experienced by the family caregivers. Thus, the aim of the present study was to identify the antecedents and consequences of stigmatic experiences encountered by family caregivers of a relative with younger-onset dementia. Method: Applying a phenomenological-constructivist paradigm, we conducted three focus groups with 16 participants, including spouses of a person with younger-onset dementia and professionals. The focus groups’ transcripts were analyzed following an inductive content analysis procedure. Results: Results indicated that family caregivers encounter stigmatic experiences because of their association with younger persons with dementia. Lack of knowledge emerged as the main antecedent and emotional burden as the main consequence of stigma. Conclusion: Future practices should promote awareness and knowledge of younger-onset dementia among family caregivers and professionals as well as provide emotional support for family caregivers.


Symposium on Nurturing Intergenerational Solidarity & Intergenerational Projects, Chair: Prof. Dr. Clare Holdsworth (UK)

 “Give and receive”: The impact of an intergenerational program on institutionalized children and old adults

Anabela Campinho, Graça Silva & Raquel Barbosa, CPUP, FPCEUP – University of Porto

This study describes the effects of an intergenerational program on self-esteem, loneliness, depression and happiness of a sample of six institutionalized children and six institutionalized older adults. A mixed-method with a pre-post approach was used. Such impact occurred in purpose, well-being and positive emotions, intergenerational sharing, and community involvement. The difficulties found were mobility constraints, low emotional expression and alphabetization (in elders), difficulty in establishing affective bonds (in children) and, also, length and periodicity. These results are discussed, and the implications of the psychosocial impact of such programs on all agents implicated in the intergenerational relationships are highlighted.


Silver Universe of Intergenerational Solidarity (download presentation slides)

Laura Dryjanska, Biola University

This is a presentation of a multi-disciplinary volume authored by some members of the INTERFASOL and other scholars and key stakeholders, entitled Silver Universe: Views on Active Living, to be published by the Lexington Books. Why ‘silver universe’? Speaking about aging may seem somewhat negative, but more importantly, it can be insufficient for our purposes, as we are attempting at an exploration of diverse spheres of life. The multidisciplinary approach that we are promoting truly speaks into the universe of meanings, not an isolated human being or problem, but the complex context that surrounds every single one of us. As years go by, at some point our universe becomes silver, just as our hair turns gray. While for years we had heard discussions of active aging, the latest trend is to emphasize that we should promote active and healthy attitude throughout the lifespan. We believe that active living is not only about exercise, but even more so about a healthy diet and prevention. The hope is that every human being flourishes, feeling fulfilled in terms of growth in his or her personal maturity, relationships, professional standing, artistic stimulation, and spiritual capacity. This volume reflects the multi-disciplinary and multicultural diversity of contributions. Intergenerational solidarity constitutes a common thread that nineteen authors from five different countries discuss from the point of view of their respective disciplines. From psychology (both clinical and social), through neurology, neuro-genetics, gerontology, nutrition, through sociology, economics, communication, law, tourism and education to theology, we offer complimentary views as a fruit of INTERFASOL, the COST Action that has allowed us to establish these synergies.


Symposium on Intergenerational Value Transmission & Societal Change, Chair: Dr. Elke Murdock (Luxembourg)

Intergenerational Family Solidarity in the Light of the Second Demographic Transition–Evidence from the Netherlands

 Mirza Emirhafizovic, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Sarajevo

The aim of my presentation is to discuss intergenerational family solidarity in the context of the Second demographic transition (SDT) as a theoretical proposition. The “new” demographic reality, characterized by low fertility and longevity generating rapid population ageing, implies the necessity of social response and adjustment to such trends.  According to the founders of the SDT van de Kaa and Lestaeghe, its main features are sub-replacement fertility, diversity of living arraignments as opposed to “classical” marriage (cohabitation, LAT unions – couples who live at separate addresses), the upsurge in out-of-wedlock childbearing, and the increase in divorce rates. Authors argue that societal change along with technological progress and shift in value systems had a very strong impact on a family in every regard. All these factors might be causing fragile family ties and disrupted relations among its members. Additionally, prospective intergenerational family solidarity is directly affected by childlessness. 

The Netherlands is a paradigmatic country in terms of the SDT and a postmodern way of life in general. A large body of empirical research and literature provide an insight into the forms and elements of intergenerational family solidarity that, in spite of all challenging circumstances, existing in this highly urbanized and individualistic society.

 Urban Encounters with Strangers – the ICT and Young People’s Experiences of Adult Social Control in Public Places in Helsinki (download presentation slides)


Arseniy Svynarenko, The Finnish Youth Research Society

In this presentation I analyze intergenerational encounters and adult social control in public places in Helsinki. I draw on existing work suggesting that complexities of new communication technologies, mobility, and changing social roles are prerequisites for understanding young people’s contemporary everyday life in the city. In my  research, I ask, how do young people take part in and negotiate Helsinki’s urban social order in an era which can be referenced as the media city, characterized by digitalization and mediatization? I discuss these features from the point of view of social control which i understand as an interactional force and strategy to produce social and moral order. Furthermore, social control is seen not only in its negative sense of restrictions and sanctions, but also in positive sense of enabling and negotiating social order. Social control as thoroughly interwoven and negotiated in intergenerational encounters, having both formal and informal features and involving technological mediation. I use the example of the Helsinki metro which is a highly technologized system with concentration of mechanical and digital machines in the closed space of stations and train cars. Hence, unlike in buses and trams, some omnipresent tensions and emotions concerning social control become more evident in metro. Many young people experience their presence in the metro as challenged by adults: they tell about experiences of harassment and their strategies for negotiating the order. They use portable devices (smartphones, headphones) not only for entertainment and communication, but also for protection, securing privacy, claiming and protecting their own space. Intergenerational interactions are characterized by young people’s expectations for safety on one hand, and confusion concerning their position, on the other: older generations demand that they be like adults, yet treat them like children without rights.


Why do Value Transmission between Generations on the Concept of Intergenerational Solidarity Matter for School Education? (download presentation slides)

Hatice Celebi & Nafiye Cigdem Aktekin, Acibadem University

Intergenerational Value Transmission (IVT) is a reciprocal rather than a linear process, in which all the involved negotiate values to discard or maintain. When the definition of value is taken as “an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence” (Rokeach, 1973), what beliefs endure and how become critical questions especially in rapidly changing societies where the process is less continuous and diffuse. Turkey has presented a case for rapid social change over last few decades. In this presentation, we focus on value transmission concerning education between the generations since education and schooling have acquired new and conflicting meanings for different generations. With our nationally funded project (TUBITAK, Project 116K245), we aim to explore whether there is a theoretical relationship between the three latent variables: intergenerational solidarity, the degree of metacognitive awareness of the transference of positive values regarding intergenerational solidarity, and the nature (positive or negative) of attitudes towards education. In the study, 900 students from 7 schools in different parts of Istanbul, 75 2nd and 3rd generation family members, and 30 teachers are targeted to collect data from. In this symposium, we present our study design and preliminary findings in relation to the literature from Turkey.  


Motivations for Agreement with Parental Values: A Key for Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Values (download presentation slides)

 Daniela Barni1 & Francesca Danioni2

1Department of Human Sciences, LUMSA University of Rome

2Family Studies and Research University Centre, Catholic University of Milan

The bulk of studies on intergenerational transmission of values focused on what values parents want to transmit to their children and on the extent to which parents and children are similar in their value priorities. On the contrary, little is known about why children accept their parents’ values. Do children accept their parents’ values under external or internal pressures (i.e., controlled motivations) or because they consider these values as inherently worthy (i.e., autonomous motivations)? Do these motivations affect intergenerational relationships and value transmission?

This study aims at answering these questions across two generations. We examined adolescents’ motivations for agreement with their parents’ values as well as their parents’ motivations for agreement with their own old parents. Moreover, we analyzed the relations between parents’ motivations to agree with their old parents, the values they would like to transmit to their adolescent children, parent-child relationship quality, and the degree of parent-child value congruence. Participants were 325 families (adolescent and both her/his parents, for a total of 975 subjects) living in the North of Italy. Adolescents (girls: 60%) were high-school students aged from 14 to 18 years (M=15.19, SD=1.17). Mean ages of fathers and mothers were 48.29 (SD=5.56) and 44.98 (SD=4.66), respectively. Participants filled out a self-report questionnaire including the Motivations for Agreement with Parental Values Scale (Knafo & Assor, 2007), the Portrait Values Questionnaire (Schwartz, 2003), and the Parental Self-Efficacy Scale (Caprara et al., 2001). Data analysis is still in progress and results will be discussed in relation to intergenerational transmission processes.


Symposium on Intergenerational Family Solidarity and Migration, Chair: Prof. Dr. Willy Lahye (Belgium)

Changes in Intergenerational Relationships within Migrant Families

 Claudine Attias-Donfut

EHESS, Paris

 Migration experiences are indeed very different from one generation to another and they often exacerbate generational differences within migrant families. Therefore it is necessary to develop studies to identify changes from one generation to the other and to examine the impact of migration on the relationships between generations. This presentation presents some of the main results relating to the topic, on the basis of the literature and on studies that we have carried out at a national and cross-national level. Inevitably migration brings specific changes in the functioning of families following migration. These include: (a) The contraction around nuclear family relations;

(b) the central positions taken by the children; (c) the changes in gender relations; and (d) the transfer behaviors of migrants; (e) the intergenerational social mobility.

They show that what is crucially at stake among generations of immigrants is not so much the functioning of solidarity nor the affective bonds, which are usually maintained and sometimes reinforced, but rather the questions related to the transmission of values, norms, family and collective memory, involving personal and social identity and the sense of belonging. This can result in a generational gap, a break in the generational chain, what we call an ‘generational unchaining’ (désenchaînement des générations)


BEGIN: Enhancing Social Integration of Immigrants with an Intergenerational Mentoring Program

 Beate Schwarz1, Belinda Berweger1 & Jonathan Bennett2

1 Zurich University of Applied Sciences, 2 Bern University of Applied Sciences

BEGIN aims to support and evaluate the vocational training and career start of immigrants in the field of basic nursing by means of a mentoring program that was specifically developed based on professional didactics. In close collaboration with the basic training as a healthcare aide offered by the Swiss Red Cross, referred to as ‘Lehrgang Pflegehelferin/Pflegehelfer SRK’, we are developing a mentoring program where older volunteers utilize their social and cultural competencies to support younger immigrants as they complete basic training and enter the career. This not only serves to promote career integration of immigrants in a vocational field that has a shortage of trained workers but also at the same time fosters solidarity between the generations. We will present the development of core topics for the program and their implementation into didactic tools.


Early Career Symposium: Experiences with INTERFASOL: Short term scientific missions & Training schools, Chair: Prof. Dr. Willy Lahaye (Belgium) & Camillo Regalia (Italy)


A Positive School Intervention with very Young Kids: Enhancing Individual, Collective and Ecological Virtuousness

  1. R. (Ressurreição) Monge

Psychology School, Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal

 Today, living in a special environment, where the nature is particularly fragile, where human decisions and activities must be into consideration, where schools are considered like key structures in the dissemination of sustainability values and practices,  the study “EDUCATING IN VIRTUES, an Intervention Program for students in the elementary school” looks at the development, application and evaluation of an Intervention Program that intends to promote activities and contexts conducive to the development of strengths and virtues involving sustainable environmental practices.

Thinking about the growing importance of sustainability, this Intervention Program aimed at training of strengths and virtues through: a) individual and collective awareness, reflection and discussion of how such training could be achieved and how it fared in practice; b) the use of natural agriculture including the appropriation and knowledge inherent in this procedure, in the face of environmental vulnerability; c) practice the art of Ikebana, an eastern art, in which one gives life to flowers, through the creation of a harmonious construction of lines, involving colour and rhythm, mobilizing the respect, gratitude towards nature, in which students daily applied their character strengths.

The Intervention Program was aimed at students of the 1st Cycle of elementary schools, those attending the first three years of compulsory schooling. To this end the results from an experimental group that followed the Program (N=107) were compared to the results from a control group that did not follow the Program (N=84). The average age of the participants was 7.5 years. This comparison was carried out in three phases: pre-test, post-test and follow-up. The research used both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and took Positive Psychology as its theoretical base, following on from the conceptualization work on Virtues and Character Strengths carried out by Peterson and Seligman (2004).

With reference to their self-descriptions, the results suggest that the students following the Program, when compared to the control group, made increased use of the strengths of Creativity, Curiosity, Open-Mindedness, Love of Learning, Perspective, Bravery, Persistence, Integrity, Zest, Love, Kindness, Social Intelligence, Citizenship, Fairness, Forgiveness, Humility, Prudence, Self-Regulation, Appreciation of Beauty, Gratitude, Hope and Humor integrated into the six Virtues: Wisdom, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance and Transcendence. There was no difference between the students in the experimental and control groups with respect to the strengths of Leadership and Spirituality. The data collected were analyzed in the light of the educational psychology literature, considering the psychological and pedagogical interest of programs to promote virtues within a school context.


Sustainable Intergenerational Educational Programmes: Current Challenges and Future Perspectives

 Claudia Azevedo

Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas Abel Salazar, University of Porto

 A corpus of research published over the past four decades states the many benefits of intergenerational programmes and relationships worldwide. However, there is still a dearth of research in the literature regarding the intergenerational program’s sustainability, particularly from the perspective of the coordinators. My PhD dissertation on “Sustainable Intergenerational Educational Programmes: current challenges and future perspectives” identified key dimensions for implementing sustainable intergenerational programmes in the narratives of the programme managers. Primarily, it links the paradigm of sustainability with its dimensions in intergenerational programmes in educational settings. The goal of this research has been to study various aspects of a sustainable society across the spectrum of all ages in lifelong learning, as well as the intergenerational community over the trajectory of human life. I have tackled different aspects of an intergenerational sustainable society, starting from the lifelong learning perspective, and how different intergenerational groups use generational positions and identities within the school and community settings. Taking a qualitative approach, it seeks to define sustainability and determine the core dimensions of intergenerational programmes. By establishing these two key determining factors, it strives to create mentoring and volunteering ties from potentially lasting approaches which can help raise the profile of intergenerational working for the managers of those programmes. In particular, the dimensions I have outlined strongly indicate a consensus of all coordinators on how intergenerational relationships are the foundation for the implementation of sustainable programmes. Additionally, my research highlights the need for greater attention in the relationship between the lack of training of coordinators and the scarce training provided to participants before the start of the programmes. The 2016 Training School insights at Porto broadened the scope of my research, in areas such as: life-course approach, intergenerational design, and intergenerational care. A sustainable society for all ages demands that we bring together people from different generations and, within that, look to the life-course of each person by using a biographical approach. Therefore, the fact that each person’s life trajectory intersects with other temporalities is important when we aim to foster intergenerational relationships. A more comprehensive research approach involves a consideration of multiple temporalities, whether chronological, historical, or subjective. An interdisciplinary approach is essential for shaping comprehensive and far-reaching research in the intergenerational field. The upcoming Training School will contribute significantly to advance investigation within the intergenerational field to address both the current challenges of the dissemination of IP and the changes in multigenerational societies.

Lighting the Shadows of Social Life (download presentation slides)

 Gražina Rapolienė, Lithuanian Social Research Centre

 One of key insights brought from Interfasol Training School in Keele (2015) was the lesson that negative results of a research might be of striking importance: an absent intergenerational conflict was presented as outcome of an qualitative research by T.Scharf. Now, 3 years later, I find myself taking part in two research projects related to family and exploring the absent – in projects on childlessness and single living older people:

  • „Childlessness in Lithuania: sociocultural changes and individual experiences in modern society“ (contract No. S-MOD-17-3),
  • „Older people living alone: trends, profiles and challenges to intergenerational integration“ (contract No. GER-001/2017).

How the absence is legitimated and made meaningful? As noted in “sociology of nothing” (Scott, 2018), in both cases here is entered the zone of ambivalence floating in variuos aspects between freedom of choice and loneliness, independence and belonging, childfreeness and childlessness.

But what is common in both research cases before interpretations – the difficulties to gather data. In both projects we perform qualitative studies. In the project of single living elderly a group of researchers collected 27 interviews – and got 19 rejections. In the case of childlessness is even more difficult: rejections start from the environment of potential informants. Friends of childless women hesitate to ask them about possibility of such interview motivating sensivity of the topic or that they never discussed the issue (being 50-70 years old). After 3 rejections I succeeded to collect 5 interviews. One of them was rejected for further use in a week after the interview.

It is clear that researchers try to violate margins of privacy investigating aspects of informants lives very likely covered even from themselves. While reflecting the role of researcher, questions of ethics (possible harm to informants), methodology (how to get voices of most excluded elderly) and quality of research (what part of social exclusion or of childlessness experiences we investigate involving only those keen to participate) rise, which could be discussed in the symposium of former trainees.

Towards a Modelling of the Practices of Intergenerational Family Solidarities in Contexts of Single Parenting: the Benefits of a STSM at Cnav in Paris (download presentation slides)

Catherine Coppée

Sciences de la Famille, UMONS, Mons

Today, in Belgium, the status of single-parent families is the most important alongside nuclear families. More than 20% of all households with children are single-parent families. At the same time, a reflection of a new sharing of responsibilities and resources in dealing with the needs of individuals is emerging at the political level. Indeed, the worsening of economic difficulties has imposed the idea of ​​a “natural” complementarity between solidarities developed by the public sphere and family solidarities. Thus, given the lack of explanation of the functioning of single-parent families and the development of family solidarity practices, we try to understand this phenomenon through this thesis work. The principal objective of the research is therefore to analyze family solidarity practices implemented within single-parent families. The study focuses on the role of the family network in the functioning of models taking into account the intergenerational dimension. The qualitative approach is based on the grounded theory to produce a theory from the empirical material. Indeed, anchoring consists in referring to what the actors live and reproducing faithfully. We collect data through the use of single parent interview. The sampling does not focus on a population composed of individuals. We start from our questions and sample the phenomenon under study. Through the collection, it is the theoretical conceptualization that is sampled. It is a question of discovering all the characteristics of the phenomenon under study as well as all the articulations attested in order to propose an integrated schematization. This analysis shows that single-parent families develop different ways of working according to several factors: history, context, origin, socio-economic level, and so on. More specifically, the single-parent goes through phases (isolation, adaptation, reconstruction) that evolve in different ways depending on the type of solidarity developed. Thus, the single-parent stays on a continuum from the process of solidarity to a separation and, in a manner that evolves according to the phases through which it passes.

Within the framework of the COST project, I had the opportunity to realize a scientific mission in the Research Unit on Aging (URV) of Cnav in Paris (France) for one week in March 2016. Jim OGG, person in charge of the unit welcomed me. This scientific mission allowed me to discuss the concepts of “solidarity”, “family”, “intergenerational” in order to adopt my own definitions and clarify the theoretical framework of the thesis. In addition, I benefited from the expertise of Mr. Ogg and his team, using a quantitative approach to broaden my questions and scientific reflections.


Development of Family Resilience in Paediatric Palliative Care Settings (download presentation slides)

Sandra P. Alves, Anne Marie Fontaine, & Catarina Grande

Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences – University of Porto

Illnesses that threaten and / or limit the child’s life have a profound individual and systemic impact, so that emotional, physical, financial, spiritual and social constraints can occur among children and family members (Steele & Davies, 2006). The personal growth associated with the experience of caring for the sick child and the development of the family as a whole have been pointed out as a result of the experience of these situations (Steele & Davies, 2006). Likewise, indicators has been reported to corroborate that a considerable majority of children, even after facing severe or chronic adversity, demonstrates some resilience processes (Masten, 2014). It also seems important to understand whether the resilience of the sick child will be in any way related and / or dependent on the resilience of the remaining subsystems of the family. As familiar and contextual variables, family cohesion, effective family communication, and the maintenance of trusting and positive relationships among family members contribute significantly to a greater capacity to deal with challenging situations (Giallo & Gavidia-Payne, 2006; Rosenberg et al., 2013). Intergenerational family solidarity may contribute to the strengthening of protective factors. So, this study includes measures to evaluate this dimension, specifically the Portuguese version of Monteiro (2010) Intergenerational Solidarity Scale (Bengtson & Roberts, 1991). Thus, with our study, we intend to: identify and analyze the relationship between risk and protection factors and their contribution to the positive adaptation to the experience experienced by the family of children with complex chronic disease; to evaluate the mechanisms and psychological processes implemented by family elements that are precursors of family resilience; to test the impact and efficiency of interventions on indicators of family resilience and their variations according to family characteristics and intervention; and, to answer the gaps found in terms of psychological intervention in paediatric palliative context, expecting to develop an intervention model with an emphasis on family resilience that may contribute to the increase of public policies related to the promotion of welfare. The research plan includes four distinct studies: the first, with an exploratory nature, the second and third with a confirmatory nature, and the fourth with the purpose of evaluating the quality of interventions from the participants’ point of view. The training school in which I participated in Keele was important for the purposeful construction of this project as it allowed me to deepen knowledge in this area, but also to realize how important intergenerational family solidarity can be to guarantee the family’s quality of life.


Poster abstracts

Views and Attitudes of Health Professional Students towards Ageing in Turkey

 Nafiye Cigdem Aktekin

Acibadem University

The results of the Life Satisfaction Survey conducted by Turkish Statistical Institution (TUİK) show that 70.2% of individuals aged 18 and over stated that it was their families making them “happiest” (TUİK, 2017), which indicates that family is still a very important part of Turkish society. Familial transmission of values and relational styles over generations is thought to be invaluable; however has been seldom studied in Turkish literature. Therefore, how people, particularly the young, consider ageing is not identified clearly. As family is the first context for socialization and for learning the meaning of solidarity, how the young approach the old plays an important part in society. Family varies across time, countries, and cultures, as well as within cultures as a function of social class, religion, and moral values (Kagitcibasi, 1996). Turkey is going through a demographic transition as fertility has decreased sharply and longevity has increased. 32.5% of people are under the age of 20; 49% of the population is under 30 years old, 68% of people are of working age, and only 8% of the people are aged 65 and older (International Monetary Fund [IMF], 2016). Life expectancy at birth which was 30 years for males and 33 years for women in the 1940’s increased by 2.5 times, in other words rose around 45 years until today, and reached 74.6 years for men and 79.1 years for women in 2012 (Turgut & Feyzioglu, 2014). According to the population projections, this trend is expected to continue and reach 75.8 for men and 80.2 for women by 2023; to 78.7 and 81.4 respectively by 2050; and to 83.1 and 85.8 respectively by 2075 (TurkStat, 2014). The decline in overall function of people worldwide as they age may result in worsening chronic diseases, culminating in the loss of various life activities (Erdil et al 2006; Lovell 2006; Tuohy 2003; Happell 2002). It is clear the care of older people globally is an important issue; and for a population which goes through a dramatic change, it carries utmost importance. Considering the change in Turkey’s population structure; from a young population into an old population, this study was designed to find out the views and attitudes of a group of university students. Participants were selected from the students of Nursing, Physiotherapy, Dietetics and Health Sciences departments, as well as the School of Medicine of Acıbadem MAA University, a thematic university on Health Sciences. The researcher believes that the students who study health observe ageing in a different way. A qualitative approach with semi‑structured interviews was used in this study to determine the views and attitudes of the participants towards ageing. Similarly, participants who study psychology, sociology and engineering were also selected. The results will offer an insight into new studies and educational programs about ageing.


 Programme & Film presentation

Vivre la solidarité intergénérationnelle: un programme français éducatif unique en Europe + projection du film “ateliers éducatifs intergénérationnels”, by Carole Gadet (France), chargée des projets intergénérationnels ministère education nationale France et fondatrice association “Ensemble demain”

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This conference is dedicated to the memory of Prof. Dr. Dieter Ferring (1958-2017).