This study examines whether intergenerational continuity exists in the demographic
trajectories of parents and children during young adulthood. A new indicator to measure
similarity, based on the idea that trajectories are more similar, the more subtrajectories
they have in common, is compared to a similarity indicator based on optimal matching.
Using data on parents and children from the NSFH, it is shown that intergenerational
transmission of demographic trajectories exists, despite the dramatic changes in such
trajectories in the last half-century. Continuities in demographic patterns across
generations to a large extent result from continuities in general societal processes that
structure the life course, but processes that operate within the family itself are important
as well. Substantive and methodological implications of the findings are discussed.
Keywords: sequence analysis; young adulthood; cohort change; intergenerational transmission; demographic trajectories