SwissGen - Intergenerational Relations in Switzerland

Mother, father, daughter, son. The SwissGen project at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Zurich is devoted to studying intergenerational relationships between adults and their parents. It studies their current relationships and, as applicable, their prior relationships with mothers and fathers who are now deceased.


The research questions revolve around cohesion and solidarity as well as possible tension and conflict. They address the desires, goals, and opportunities of individuals and families as well as the conditions for intergenerational cohesion. The aims of the project include the collection of new, comprehensive generational data for Switzerland, the well-founded documentation and analysis of intergenerational relations now and over time, the identification of regional similarities and differences, the integration of Swiss findings into international comparisons, as well as empirically based conclusions for individuals, families, society, and politics.

Individuals from across Switzerland were selected and surveyed in writing or online. The information collected in this way allows for a comprehensive documentation and analysis of intergenerational relationships in both Switzerland at large and all of its regions. Of particular interest is what strengthens cohesion and support between parents and children in adulthood ― and which factors tend to contribute to tension and conflict. The project examines individual, family-related and regional factors. The empirical analyses provide important scientific knowledge for individuals, families, and society as a whole. This also allows to draw conclusions on how to promote cohesion and solidarity and reduce tension and conflict between the generations.