Demographic Differences in Life Course Dynamics in Eastern and Western Germany (DemoDiff)

Resource Type
  • Kreyenfeld, Michaela (Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung Rostock)
  • Goldstein, Joshua (Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung Rostock)
  • Walke, Rainer (Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung Rostock)
  • Trappe, Heike (Universität Rostock)
  • Huinink, Johannes (Universität Bremen)
  • Bastin, Sonja (Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung Rostock)
  • Hensel, Tom (Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung Rostock)
  • Lenke, Rüdiger (Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung Rostock)
  • Mir Mousavi, Bibimasoumeh (Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung Rostock)
  • Salzburger, Veronika (Technische Universität Chemnitz)
  • Schnor, Christine (Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung Rostock)
Publication Date
  • TNS Infratest, Munich (Data Collector)
  • TNS Infratest, München (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Family
    • Society, Culture
    • Person, Personality, Role
    • Education, School Systems
  • Abstract

    Complementary Study to the German Family Panel (pairfam) Financed by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, DemoDiff is a longitudinal study that provides prospective and retrospective information for the analysis of family dynamics in eastern Germany. It mainly follows the concept and design of the nationwide German Family Panel study pairfam. Anchor respondents of the birth cohorts 1971-73 and 1981-83 from eastern Germany (excluding West Berlin and including East Berlin) and their partners are interviewed on an annual basis. Data from DemoDiff are distributed together with the scientific use file of the German Family Panel. Data access is supervised by the pairfam data research center. The survey program of DemoDiff is broadly in compliance with the pairfam program. This multi-subject study focuses on aspects of partnership and family dynamics. 1.) Partnership formation and development 2.) Transition to first and consecutive births 3.) Intergenerational relationships 4.) Parenting and child development Numerous issues from other life domains and demography are also gathered by the survey. Most of the instruments are utilized either annually in each survey wave (core modules) or are rotated every two or every three years (extended modules). In the main survey, the anchor persons report - among other things - retrospectively on changes related to their partnerships, children, residences, and educational and occupational career since the last wave (Event History Calendar). The questionnaires for partners are similar to the main survey in terms of topics but differ in length and content. Topics: 1.) Partnership formation and development: Partnership biography since age 14 (sex and age of partners, partnership, cohabitation and marriage episodes by month); Getting to know each other (current partner); Institutionalization of partnership (plans, ambivalence, stages); Sexuality (sexual orientation, frequency of sexual intercourse, satisfaction with sex life); Cohabitation (dwelling, distance between places of residence); Division of household chores (several activities, fairness); Finances in partnership (bank accounts, living expenses); Quality of partnership (dyadic coping, NRI, conflict styles and behavior, satisfaction with relationship, subjective instability of partnership); Module for singles (satisfaction with situation as single, interest in partnership, desire for partnership, characteristics of the partner market, subjective chances, broad and in-depth exploration); Separation module (course of separation, problems in partnership, effects on children, emotional distress after separation, exposure with separation, custody and alimony arrangements). 2.) Transition to first and consecutive births: Expectations concerning life with children (value of children); Pregnancy (existence of pregnancy, tried to sire a child/get pregnant, infertility, procreation/measures inducing pregnancy, abortion/miscarriage, hypothetical social support in case of pregnancy); Contraception (use, methods, consistency of use); Social influences on family planning (by friends and parents); Fertility plans (ideal and realistic number of children, intention to become parent, timing of parenthood, agreement with partner, willingness to cut back for children, effects of being parent, parenthood decision making, reasons against children); Preconditions for parenthood (assessment of actual and target state). 3.) Intergenerational relationships: Expectations concerning the relationship to parents (value of parents); Familial norms; Family and partnership related values; Quality of parent-child-relationship (NRI); Dimensions of intergenerational relationships (frequency of contact, emotional closeness, travel-time distance); Given and received support (emotional, material, instrumental); Nursing (need for care parents, care provider); Leaving parents’ home (age). 4.) Parenting and child development: Child rearing goals; Parenting role (parental self-efficacy); Co-parenting (problems, problem solving); Child care (responsible persons, satisfaction with child care situation); Health of children (in general); Newborn module (delivery, checkups, temperament, unspecific strain). Other life domains: Personality; Well-being (loneliness, self-worth, depressiveness, etc.); Health (general status, handicap, sleep at night); Importance of life domains (occupation, family, etc.); Satisfaction (with life, school/job, leisure activities, friends, family, financial situation); Network integration (number of friends, network generator); Religiosity (religious denomination, frequency of church visits). Demography: Sex; Age; Marital status; Country of birth and nationality; Number of siblings and relatives; Education (education career, educational attainment); Employment biography (employment episodes, occupation, occupational status); Employment situation (work schedule arrangement, temporary employment contract, multiple jobs, conditions at workplace, commuting, maternity/paternity leave, military/civilian service); Income and benefits (current gross and net income per month, net household income, drawing of social benefits, alimony payment, income on investments, economic deprivation); Residential biography since age 18 (first move out of parents‘ home, places of residence in federal state and country, first and second place of residence, moves, type of current household, ownership of dwelling, total living space, number of rooms, frequency of overnight stays); Household grid (number of further persons in the household and their sex, age, kind of relationship); Information about current partner (date of birth, country of birth and nationality, education, occupation, job position, children from earlier relationships, place of residence); Information about children (number, sex, date of birth, status, cohabitation, contact, second parent, health status, child care); Information about biological parents and stepparents (date of birth, whether still alive and - if applicable - date of death, country of birth and nationality, highest level of education and vocational training, marital status, relationship status, cohabitation, old and new partnership). As a supplement to the German Family Panel, DemoDiff gathers additional information on the respondent’s partnership status when giving birth. The data also contain information on the place of birth of the respondent; i.e. whether he/she is born in eastern or western Germany. Additionally coded: Duration of interview; date of interview; identification of interviewer; size of city; weighting factor.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2009-11 / 2010-03
    Wave 1: with instruments of the first pairfam wave
  • 2009-11 / 2010-03
  • 2010-10 / 2011-04
    Wave 2/3: with instruments of the second and third pairfam wave
  • 2010-10 / 2011-04
  • 2011-11 / 2012-04
    Wave 4: with instruments of the fourth pairfam wave
  • 2011-11 / 2012-04
Geographic Coverage
  • Berlin (DE-BE)
  • Berlin (DE-BE)
  • Brandenburg (DE-BB)
  • Brandenburg (DE-BB)
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (DE-MV)
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (DE-MV)
  • Saxony (DE-SN)
  • Saxony (DE-SN)
  • Saxony-Anhalt (DE-ST)
  • Saxony-Anhalt (DE-ST)
  • Thuringia (DE-TH)
  • Thuringia (DE-TH)
Sampled Universe
Anchor Persons: All German-speaking persons (irrespective of nationality) living in private households in the five New Laender of the former German Democratic Republic (including East Berlin, excluding West Berlin) born within one of the following time periods: • born between 01.01.1981 and 31.12.1983 (Cohort 1) • born between 01.01.1971 and 31.12.1973 (Cohort 2)
DemoDiff is a panel survey of anchor persons with an implemented multi-actor design. In every wave, the respective partners of the anchor persons are interviewed separately. Anchor Persons: The initial sample was drawn using a two-stage sampling procedure. The aim was to represent the two cohorts in equal shares of the total sample: • first stage: municipalities of the five New Laender (including East Berlin, excluding West Berlin) were sampled (using a cost allocation model). • second stage: members of the target population who had their main residence in the selected municipalities were sampled (systematic random sampling on the basis of local population registers). The anchor persons are interviewed annually, using a non-monotonic design (respondents who dropped out in the last wave are re-contacted in the subsequent wave). Partners: The current partner of the anchor person is included in the survey if the anchor person gives consent (irrespective of sex, cohabitation or relationship status). If couples separate between the waves, the ex-partners are not contacted again. Details of the sampling procedures and follow-up strategies are provided in the method reports (available in German language only) and in the DemoDiff manual (see Data and Documents).
Collection Mode
  • Anchor Persons: Face-to-face interview with standardized questionnaire (CAPI and CASI for sensitive topics); incentive of 10€ cash per realized interview Partner: Paper-and-pencil interview with standardized questionnaire (Drop-Off); incentive of 5€ lottery ticket per completed questionnaire
  • Anchor Persons: Face-to-face interview with standardized questionnaire (CAPI and CASI for sensitive topics); incentive of 10€ cash per realized interview Partner: Paper-and-pencil interview with standardized questionnaire (Drop-Off); incentive of 5€ lottery ticket per completed questionnaire
Essentially, DemoDiff is a supplementary sample of the German Family Panel pairfam. The data, which are compatible in terms of content, are collected from anchor persons of the two birth cohorts 1971-73 and 1981-83 residing in the eastern New Laender of Germany as well as from their respective partners. DemoDiff is part of the project “Life-Course Dynamics in Eastern and Western Germany”, which was launched by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. The first DemoDiff survey wave was realized in 2009/2010, or one year after the first wave of the German Family Panel. The second survey wave was carried out in 2010/2011 including modules of the second and the third waves of pairfam. Accordingly, the following wave from 2011/2012 is synchronized with the pairfam survey. Starting with the fifth wave, DemoDiff will be continued within the scope of pairfam and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Further information on DemoDiff is provided by Michaela Kreyenfeld (Email: as well as by the user support at the pairfam research data center (Email:
C - Data and documents are only released for academic research and teaching after the data depositor’s written authorization. For this purpose the Data Archive obtains a written permission with specification of the user and the analysis intention.
  • Kreyenfeld, Michaela, Johannes Huinink, Heike Trappe und Rainer Walke: DemoDiff: A Dataset for the Study of Family Change in Eastern (and Western) Germany. In: Schmollers Jahrbuch 2012, Vol. 132, No. 4: 653-660

Update Metadata: 2015-09-02 | Issue Number: 111 | Registration Date: 2013-06-10