This paper is devoted to the analysis of the starting events marking the transition to adulthood, such as completion of education (vocational and higher), first employment, first separation from parents, first partnership, first marriage, and first childbirth.
The dataset of the research is the Russian part of the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS). We prepared a harmonised dataset of the three waves (2004, 2007, and 2011), which included 5,451 respondents born between 1930 and 1986. We used two complementary approaches to study the transition to adulthood: the analysis of the starting sociodemographic events separately and the analysis of all of them as a part of one process. We depicted the results of the analysis on a demographic Lexis grid, which allowed us to observe the influence of the historical and institutional context on people’s behaviour.
The research revealed three models of transition to adulthood in Russia: “Soviet” (generations of 1940-49, 1950-59, and 1960-69), “Transitional” (generations of 1930-39 and 1970-79), and “Post-Soviet” (the generation of 1980-86). Our classification is similar to the idea of the convergence of the patterns of the starting events’ occurrence which assumes a change from the “traditional” model (“early, contracted and simple”) to the “modern” model (“late, protracted and complex”). The similarity of the changes in Russian and European models confirms the stadiality of the modernisation process. The study also confirms the assumption of the Life Course Approach about the individualisation of the life course.