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Death Is Not the End: A Register-Based Study of the Effect of Parental Death on Adult Children’s Childbearing Behavior in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (English)In: Omega, ISSN 0030-2228, E-ISSN 1541-3764Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Macro-level studies have shown that rapid increases in mortality can affect fertility rates. Parental death has also been linked to negative psychological and physical outcomes, reduced relationship quality, and making bereaved children attach more importance to their families. No prior study has examined whether parental death influences adult children’s fertility at the microlevel. This study applies event history techniques to Swedish multigeneration registers listing 1.5 million individuals with micro data on mortality and fertility to investigate short-term (first birth risk) and long-term (childlessness at age 45) effects of parental death on adult children’s fertility. The principal finding is that parental death during reproductive age affects children’s fertility and this effect is mainly short term. The effects differ to some degree between men and women and depend on the stage of the life course in which the bereavement occurs. Younger individuals experiencing a parental death have a significantly higher first birth risk after the parental death compared with peers who did not experience a parental death. Individuals older than 23 who experience a parental death have no or lower first birth risk after the parental death compared with baseline. Men, compared with women, are more likely to end childless if they experience a parental death.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
adults and death, bereavement, children, coping/adaptation, family, gender
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-164956DOI: 10.1177/0030222818756740OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-164956DiVA, id: diva2:1280873
Available from: 2019-01-21 Created: 2019-01-21 Last updated: 2019-01-22Bibliographically approved

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