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Family influence in fertility: A longitudinal analysis of sibling correlations in first birth risk and completed fertility among Swedish men and women
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 29, 233-246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND The intergenerational transmission of fertility has received much attention in demography. This has been done by estimating the correlation between parents' and offsprings' fertility. An alternative method that provides a more comprehensive account of the role of family background - sibling correlations - has not been used before. OBJECTIVE I estimate the overall importance of family background on entry into parenthood and completed fertility and whether it changed over time. Furthermore, I compare the intergenerational correlation in completed fertility with corresponding sibling correlations. METHODS Brother and sister correlations in first birth hazard and in final family size were estimated using multi-level event-history and multi-level linear regression on Swedish longitudinal register data. RESULTS The overall variation in fertility that can be explained by family of origin is approximately 15%-25% for women and 10%-15% for men. The overall importance of the family of origin has not changed over the approximately twenty birth cohorts that were studied (1940-63 for women, 1940-58 for men). Parents' completed fertility accounts for only a small share of the total family background effect on completed fertility. CONCLUSIONS This study contributes to the existing understanding of intergenerational transition of fertility, both methodologically, by introducing a new and powerful method to study the overall importance of family of origin, and substantially, by estimating the overall importance of family of origin and its development over time. A non-negligible proportion of the variation in fertility can be attributed to family of origin and this effect has remained stable over twenty birth cohorts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 29, 233-246 p.
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-93564DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2013.29.9ISI: 000323032200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-93564DiVA: diva2:647538
Available from: 2013-09-11 Created: 2013-09-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Parents, Children and Childbearing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Parents, Children and Childbearing
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis provides a set of studies of social influences on fertility timing. Swedish register data are used to link individuals to their parents and siblings, thereby allowing the study of impacts of family of origin, social background, and parental death on fertility. The Swedish Medical Birth Register is used to investigate the effect of mode of delivery on higher order births. The thesis consists of an introductory chapter with an overview of the consequences and predictors of the timing of childbearing, and a theoretical framework to explain these relationships. This chapter also includes a section where the contribution to existing knowledge, the relation of the findings to life course theory, and suggestion for further research are discussed. This chapter is followed by four original empirical studies. The first study applies sister and brother correlations to investigate and estimate the impact of family of origin on fertility. It shows that family of origin matters for fertility timing and final family size. The study also shows that the overall importance of family of origin has not changed over the approximately twenty birth cohorts that were studied. The second study introduces three dimensions of social background - occupational class, status, and education - into fertility research. It suggests that social background, independent of individuals’ own characteristics, matters for the timing of first birth and the risk of childlessness. The study also shows that different dimensions of social background should not be used interchangeably. The third study uses the Swedish Medical Birth Register to investigate the effect of mode of delivery on the propensity and birth interval of subsequent childbearing. It demonstrates that mode of delivery has an impact on the progression to the second and third births but that a first delivery by vacuum extraction does not reduce the propensity of subsequent childbearing to the same extent as a first delivery by emergency or elective caesarean section. The fourth study explores the effects of parental death on adult children's fertility. The findings reveal that parental death during reproductive ages can affect children’s fertility. The effects are moderated by the gender of the child and when in the life course bereavement occurs. The combined output of these four studies provides evidence that human fertility behavior is embedded in social relationships with kin and friends throughout life. Family of origin, social background, an older sibling's birth, and bereavement following parental death influence the adult child's fertility. These findings add knowledge to previous research on intergenerational and social network influences in fertility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2016. 95 p.
Series
Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 14
Keyword
Demography, Sociology, Fertility, Intergenerational transmission, Intergenerational influences, Social background, Parental death, Timing of first birth, Mode of delivery, Sibling correlation, Event history analysis, Childlessness, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-125936 (URN)978-91-7649-318-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-02-26, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2010-0831Swedish Research Council, 340-2013-5164Swedish Research Council, 349-2007-8701
Available from: 2016-02-03 Created: 2016-01-20 Last updated: 2017-02-17Bibliographically approved

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