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Ms K.L. (Kirsten) van Houdt

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Institutions, Inequalities and Life courses
Photographer: Gerard van Hees

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
  • Postbus 15508
    1001 NA Amsterdam
Contact details
Social media
  • Profile

    Kirsten van Houdt is a PhD candidate at the programme group Institutions, Inequalities and Life courses (IIL) at the Sociology Department of the University of Amsterdam. She is affiliated with the AISSR ( Her PhD project is embedded in the ERC advanced grant Family Complexity ( which focuses on the increasing complexity of family ties resulting from the Second Demographic Transition. In her four-year PhD project she will research intergenerational solidarity in non-traditional families (e.g. exchange of support, closeness between stepparents and stepchildren).

    Kirsten holds a Bachelor in Sociology (Utrecht University, University of Cologne) and a Master’s degree in Sociology and Social Research (Utrecht University).


    PhD project: Intergenerational solidarity in an era of family complexity.

    This project focuses on an important consequence of the SDT: the increasing complexity of family relationships. Due to the increase in divorce and remarriage, ties between parents and adult children have become increasingly diverse. Divorce can occur at any age during the child’s life. Children may have been raised partly by one, partly by the other parents; they may have been exposed to stepparents, being it co-resident or at a distance; they may have shared households with step- or halfsiblings. Likewise, parents could have seen partners and children enter and leave their lives and households given the instability of family life. How do does this complex structure of family ties translate to closeness and exchange of support within the family when children have reached adulthood? What is the role of biological relatedness, co-residence, and the family network?
    In collaboration with CBS, we collect unique data among (step)parents and their adult children in a multi-actor design, which allows us to take unobserved heterogeneity between families into account. Theoretically, the study of family complexity yields unique opportunities to test ideas about the nature of intergenerational relationships and will shed new light on the traditional dichotomy of social vis-à-vis biological bases of intergenerational relationships.

    Supervision: Prof. dr. Matthijs Kalmijn and dr. Katya Ivanova 

  • Publications




    • Kalmijn, M., Ivanova, K., van Gaalen, R., de Leeuw, S. G., van Houdt, K., van Spijker, F., & Hornstra, M. (2018). A Multi-Actor Study of Adult Children and Their Parents in Complex Families: Design and Content of the OKiN Survey. European Sociological Review, 34(4), 452-470. [details]
    • van Houdt, K., & Poortman, A-R. (2018). Joint lifestyles and the risk of union dissolution: Differences between marriage and cohabitation. Demographic Research, 39, 431-458. [15]. [details]
    • van Houdt, K., Kalmijn, M., & Ivanova, K. (2018). Family Complexity and Adult Children’s Obligations: The Role of Divorce and Co-Residential History in Norms to Support Parents and Step-Parents. European Sociological Review, 34(2), 169-183. [details]


    • van Gaalen, R., van Houdt, K., & Poortman, A-R. (2019). Trouwen, kinderen krijgen en (echt)scheiden naar opleidingsniveau: Demografische beslissingen binnen huishoudens aan het begin van de 21e eeuw. (Statistische Trends ). Den Haag: Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. [details]
    • van Houdt, K. L. (2019). “Tussen heks en bonusmoeder”: De kijk van kinderen of stiefouders. Demos, 35(9), 1-4.

    Media appearance

    • van Houdt, K. (16-10-2019). Waarom plusvaders makkelijker aanvaard worden dan plusmoeders [Radio] Radio 1 België. The central descriptive findings from the OKiN data.


    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No known ancillary activities