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Exploring the interrelationships between life course domains: An approach based upon sequence analysis

In the last years sequence analysis has become one of the most used and discussed tools to describe life course trajectories. A sequence is the ordered collection of the activities/states experienced by an individual during a specific period. We are interested to study the interplay between sequences defined on different domains, in particular work and family formation. Specifically we focus on criteria to describe and measure the association between sequences. We first propose a graphical exploratory method to ~Qvisualize~R the relationship between domains. Then we introduce some proposals to measure the extent of association. From an applicative point of view, these results may be useful at least from two points of view. First, they provide some evidence about the opportunity to study the two domains jointly (see Abbott and Hrycak, 1990; Stovel et al., 1996; Piccarreta and Billari, 2007; Han and Moen, 1999; Pollock 2007). Secondly, they permit to evaluate if the strength of association between the two domains is different for different groups of individuals (for example, cohorts, or socio-demographic strata)