Exchange forum on “The changing family and single parenthood”: The practitioners' point of view

Exchange forum on “The changing family and single parenthood”: The practitioners' point of view

On November 21, 2014 at the University of Lausanne, organised by the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES – Overcoming Vulnerability: Life Course Perspectives (NCCR LIVES) and the Swiss Federation of Lone Parent Families.

This one-day event will bring together stakeholders from several fields of action around the matter of sole parenthood and its different forms, complex realities which concern a growing number of families in Switzerland, addressing many questions and calling for comprehensive answers.

The NCCR LIVES, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, started a study in 2012 about the development of new forms of such families. The research team focused, until now, on the trajectories of lone parent families who are registered in panel data, and on the viewpoints of the concerned parents, which were recorded during in-depth interviews. The team now wishes to listen to the practitioners, so as to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that exist in the framework of related aid schemes.

The Swiss Federation of Lone Parent Families, which happens to be celebrating this year its 30th anniversary, is sharing this concern. It is involved, among other things, in the formulation of concrete family policy measures in order to improve the situation of lone parents and their children. The federation is a member of the Pro Familia Switzerland umbrella organisation.

The forum

In the first part of the forum, focus groups will be organised by occupational sectors: lawyers, social workers, early childhood practitioners, teachers, child psychiatrists, representatives of the public authorities and of non-governmental organisations will discuss among themselves about a series of questions, respectively chaired by a researcher.

We will address issues that are at the core of family functioning, like the different forms of family and normativity; parental and intergenerational relations; social policy, law and taxation; employment and work life balance.

The second part of the forum will deepen these issues by crossing perspectives of the occupational sectors. A synthesis will conclude these exchanges, which will provide basis for further reflection relating to the development of social policy and possible research input.


  • Swiss Federation of Lone Parent Families: Anna Hausherr, Danielle Estermann
  • NCCR LIVES: Laura Bernardi, Pascal Maeder, Ornella Larenza, Emmanuelle Marendaz Colle
  • Contact:


Please use the (French) online form

The Alpine Population Conference, La Thuile, Aosta Valley, Italy

The Alpine Population Conference, La Thuile, Aosta Valley, Italy

Alp-Pop brings together scholars interested in population issues across several disciplines, including demography, economics, epidemiology, political science, sociology, and psychology. The conference emphasizes empirical rigor and innovation over a given topic or geographical area, and meets the challenges of interdisciplinary and international audiences.

We welcome submissions on all population issues (e.g., population dynamics, population health, migration, families and fertility, the welfare state and population policy, economic development, institutions and population, decision-making, well-being, and social dynamics, etc.), but we particularly encourage submissions that take a life-course perspective.

Submissions of original papers or extended abstracts are invited by November 1, 2014, and submitters will be notified of acceptance within the week. Submissions and inquiries should be addressed via email to:

The 2015 Conference will feature Ski-note presentations from Francesco Billari of Oxford University, Kelly Musick from Cornell University, and John Ermisch from Oxford University.

Alp-Pop scholars confer both formally and informally. A traditional conference program (paper and poster presentations) mixes with group activities in a world-class winter resort. The conference location, the Planibel Hotel, is on the well-known ski slopes of La Thuile and was chosen strategically for its proximity to both Geneva and Torino/Milano.

Participants are expected to seek their own funding; although, the organizers can provide some support for Ph.D. students, and such applications should indicate a request for support in their submissions. Special-rate rooms have been reserved at the conference hotel with arrival on January 24 and departure on January 28 (the conference will end late morning).

Participants will receive information on how to reach La Thuile and updates on the conference. If there is demand, we will also aim to organize child care. Please indicate whether you intend to bring children along to the conference, as well as their ages.

Organizing committee

Arnstein Aassve (Bocconi University), Laura Bernardi (Lausanne University & NCCR LIVES), Ross Macmillan (Bocconi University), Michele Pellizzari (University of Geneva & NCCR LIVES), and Domenico Tabasso (University of Geneva & NCCR LIVES).

Alp-Pop is organized by the Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics at Bocconi University and the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES - Overcoming vulnerability: Life course perspectives (NCCR LIVES).

Round-table with leading figures on "Senior Citizens: The Forgotten People of Education”

Round-table with leading figures on "Senior Citizens: The Forgotten People of Education”

For the launch of Roland J. Campiche and Afi Sika Kuzeawu’s book, published with Editions Antipodes, the National Center of Competence in Research LIVES and the Swiss Federation of Universities of the Third Age organise a mini-conference in collaboration with the foundations Leenaards and Champ-Soleil, taking place on Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 17:00 to 19:00 at the Hotel Continental, Salon Olympia, Place de la Gare 2 in Lausanne.

One and a half million people are now aged 60 to 85 years. Most are in good health and take advantage of their retirement time; often at the service of others, but sometimes also to educate their minds and culture.

Despite this fundamental change in contemporary society, there has not been any prospective reflection on the necessary adaptations to education policies which continue to focus exclusively on children and youth.

Yet the importance of exercising the brain to prevent the effects of aging has been amply demonstrated, and the need to delay the retirement age continues to be debated, although primarily with regards to financial concerns focussing on medical and social costs.

Education is still only seen as a means to meet the needs of the labour market. It is completely disconnected from the new human reality that sees more and more people capable of learning and passing on their knowledge once their professional careers are over. They are still eager to develop. But an education specifically geared towards the elderly taking into account knowledge, skills and experience remains to be invented.

This lack of reflection sets the stage for this round-table, which will explore the issue and take stock of the challenges ahead. On the occasion of the launch of the book Adultes aînés : les oubliés de la formation [1], leaders from different domains and backgrounds will exchange views, identify obstacles and outline possible venues for action.


Welcome and introduction :

  • Dario Spini, Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES - Overcoming Vulnerability: Life Course Perspectives (NCCR LIVES)


  • Roland J. Campiche, sociologist, Prof. Emeritus at the University of Lausanne
  • Yves Dunant, MD, Prof. Emeritus at the University of Geneva - Department of Neuroscience
  • François Höpflinger, sociologist, Prof. Emeritus at the University of Zurich
  • Christiane Jaquet Berger, former President of the Swiss Council of Elders
  • Guy Parmelin, National Council, Member of the Commission of Social Security and Health
  • Géraldine Savary, Council of States, President of the Commission of Science, Education and Culture of the Council of States
  • Guy Suchet, Director of Social Affairs, Swiss French Federation of Businesses, Geneva, President of the Foundation Force nouvelle


  • Manuela Salvi, journalist, RTS 


  • Philippe Terrier, Prof. Emeritus at the University of Neuchâtel, director of the University of the Third Age of Neuchâtel, President of the Swiss Federation of Universities of the Third Age

The round-table will be followed by an aperitif. Please subscribe by sending an email no later than 15 September 2014 to:

[1] By Roland J. Campiche and Afi Sika Kuzeawu with the collaboration of Jacques Lanares, Sandrine Morante, Denis Berthiaume, Antipodes editions, Lausanne, 2014

Social psychologists get together in Amsterdam for the 2014 European Meeting

Social psychologists get together in Amsterdam for the 2014 European Meeting

The European Association of Social Psychology will be holding its 17th congress from July 9 to 12, 2014 in Amsterdam. More than 800 individual presentations and almost 700 posters are on the agenda, including NCCR LIVES researchers.

The program consists of 12 parallel sessions, including 101 symposia and 61 thematic sessions. The director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES, Dario Spini, was member of the Scientific Programme Committee and several LIVES members were reviewers.

On Wednesday 9 July at 11:00 in the Symposium S09, Dario Spini will present “Social group participation, identity continuity and well-being after the loss of an intimate partner”, drawn from IP12 research. This paper written with Nadia Girardin and Davide Morselli shows how “social groups help to maintain identity continuity, which has a positive effect on well-being. Individuals who lost a partner and who participate in groups or feel continuity report greater well-being.” Continuity, which is the fact of remaining the same person over time, also moderated the effects of loss on well-being during the five years after the bereavement.

At the Poster Session 6 on Saturday 12 July, “The impact of normative climates on gender role attitudes” will be presented. It is an outcome of the LIVES 2013 Winter School on Life Course. During that week of intensive collaborative work between junior and seasoned researchers last year, participants used a social representations approach to show that “own gender role attitudes in 20 European countries are influenced by the normative climate, controlling for individual and structural context variables like family policy indicators and gender equality indices”. Véronique Eicher prepared this poster with Stephanie Glaeser, Aude Martenot (UNIGE), Sandra Penic (UNIL), Richard A. Settersten (Oregon State University), and Dario Spini.