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Understanding transmission of fertility across multiple generations - Socialization or socioeconomics?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Demografiska enheten (SUDA))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7175-4040
2014 (English)In: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, ISSN 0276-5624, Vol. 35, 89-103 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A number of studies have documented consistent patterns in intergenerational transmission of fertility in contemporary societies. However, why children replicate the family size of their parents has received significantly less attention. The goal of this study is to examine whether observed fertility associations across generations are due in part to an intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status. Swedish registry data on childbearing histories, other demographic events, and socioeconomic traits are used to disentangle possible explanations of intergenerational fertility continuities. Data are collected for the Swedish cohorts born between 1970 and 1982 for whom parents' and grandparents' family size can be observed. The inclusion of data on grandparents gives insights into pathways for multigenerational associations, and allows for comparisons between maternal and paternal characteristics that are otherwise hard to separate. Results show that some of the observed intergenerational continuity in fertility can be explained by continuities in education and socioeconomic status, but that most fertility associations remain and are related to other sources, such as transmission of values and preferred family size.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 35, 89-103 p.
Keyword [en]
Intergenerational transmission of fertility, Grandparent, Grandchildren, Fertility, Sweden
National Category
Research subject
Sociological Demography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-105942DOI: 10.1016/j.rssm.2013.09.006ISI: 000336872700007OAI: diva2:733171


Available from: 2014-07-08 Created: 2014-07-08 Last updated: 2014-09-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Multigenerational Processes in Demography
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multigenerational Processes in Demography
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Contemporary social science research has often focused on nuclear family relationships, and has largely neglected kinship and family outside the nuclear household. In this doctoral thesis I explore demographic issues from a multigenerational perspective, using Swedish register data and mathematical modeling. In different chapters I examine intergenerational transmission of fertility—the relationship between the number of siblings and other kin, and the fertility of an individual. The thesis demonstrates the possibilities for empirical research on family and kinship based on Swedish register data. Unique linkage opportunities across three and four generations are applied to previously unexplored research questions. The studies in the thesis demonstrate the importance of kin outside the household, such as grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins, for fertility and family dynamics.

Abstract [sv]

Samhällsvetenskaplig forskning har i hög grad varit fokuserad på kärnfamiljer, och i lägre grad undersökt släktskap utanför hushållet. Den här avhandlingen undersöker demografiska frågor utifrån ett flergenerationsperspektiv med hjälp av svenska registerdata och matematisk modellering. I de olika studierna undersöker jag den sociala överföringen av barnafödande mellan fler generationer—sambanden mellan antalet syskon och andra familjemedlemmar, och en persons barnafödande. Avhandlingen demonstrerar hur svenska registerdata möjliggör empirisk forskning om familj och släktskap. De unika kopplingsmöjligheterna över tre till fyra generationer appliceras på tidigare outforskade forskningsfrågor. Avhandlingen visar vikten av släktskap utanför kärnfamiljen, så som far/mor-föräldrar samt kusiner, för familjedemografiska processer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2014. 64 p.
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 12
demography, kinship, intergenerational transmission, multigenerational demography, fertility, grandparents, Sweden, distance, cultural evolution
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106987 (URN)978-91-7447-976-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-04, A2, Universitetsvägen 10 A, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Swedish Research Council, 340-2013-5164
Available from: 2014-09-11 Created: 2014-09-01 Last updated: 2014-09-15Bibliographically approved

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