About the project FAMOD

The interdisciplinary research project “Family Models in Germany” (FAMOD) is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It is carried out by sociologists of the University of Duisburg-Essen and jurists of the University of Marburg. PIs are Prof. Dr. Anja Steinbach (Duisburg) and Prof. Dr. Tobias Helms (Marburg).

From a sociological and legal point of view, the primary focus of the project is on the diversity of existing family models. The project’s aim is to find out more about the living environments of mothers, fathers and children in different family configurations. To account for this plurality, the study not only includes married couples but also unmarried couples with minor children. In this respect, the survey closely examines the well-being of the individual family members in order to identify specific potentials and challenges practiced within a specific family form.

During the three-year duration of the project, a nationwide survey will be prepared, conducted and analyzed. With regard to the implications for life in society, the findings will be discussed with experts from science and practice.

Research design



Within the standardized part of the survey, members of 1,500 families will be included. Face-to-face interviews will be conducted with both parents and children living in different family models. The focus will be on nuclear families as well as post-separation families practicing either joint or sole physical custoy.​Untersuchungsdesign Engl

The basis for these interviews are questionnaires that contain questions about different topics of family lives, e.g., housing conditions. In case of a parental separation or divorce, both biological parents will be asked to fill out a questionnaire, including those parents who do not live in the same household as their children. Furthermore, the new partners of the separated or divorced mothers and fathers will be included in the study, given that they live in the children’s household. This nationwide survey will start in the summer of 2019 and allow us to gain insight into the diverse family models throughout Germany.