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Spanish and Italian Families in Switzerland and Transition to adulthood

Claudio Bolzman

In this paper, our interest lies more especially in the transition between childhood and adulthood within the family circle. A study carried out in Switzerland, focussed on children of Spanish and Italian working class parentage, allows one to understand the whys and wherefores of the transitions as concerns these communities. By comparing them with a control group made up of children of socially similar Swiss origin, we can identify the specifics of the familial transition of these immigrant children, while noting that as regards training and employment, there are strong resemblances between the two groups. We have focused on four main elements: the length of time parents and children lived together and the experience of the latter as autonomous beings; various issues related to marriage and having their own children; the couple’s management of daily tasks and decision-making, the intergenerational links between parents and children after the latter have left the parental home.