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Who starts a family?: The prospective association between psychological factors and family formation processes
Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Sociologiska institutionen.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-9607-0366
2024 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

The role of psychological factors for family formation processes has been underexplored in demographic research. However, psychological concepts such as personality, identity, or skills may have become increasingly relevant for family formation processes such as marital behavior, childbearing, or partnership dissolution, in particular in countries with high levels of individualism. This dissertation aims to address this research gap in various ways. First, the dissertation chapters examine the prospective associations between personality and family formation (marriage, fertility, dissolution) (chapters 1 and 2), identity and marriage (chapter 3), and leadership skills and family formation (marriage, fertility) (chapter 4). Second, the potential mediating role of socio-economic status indicators (income, education) for these relationships is explored (chapters 2, 3 and 4). Third, full siblings are compared to each other when applicable in order to control for shared background factors such as genetics or parental background (chapters 2 and 4). For these purposes, different data sources are used including large and representative survey data from Germany (chapter 1), Swedish register data (chapters 2 and 4), and survey data from Finland (chapter 3). Methodologically, a mix of widely used analytical methods have been applied such as event-history analyses, linear probability models, or Poisson regression models including individual and sibling fixed effects. The findings of this thesis suggest that psychological factors shape family formation processes across the selected European countries (Germany, Sweden, Finland) with high levels of individualism. Personality factors linked to social abilities (extraversion, social maturity, agreeableness) generally show positive associations with childbearing (chapters 1 and 2) and the probability to get married, and negative correlations with dissolution processes (chapter 2). Emotional stability is also positively associated with family formation processes (marriage, fertility), and negatively linked with partnership dissolution (chapter 2). However, these associations only relate to patterns for males whereas females do either not show clear associations (chapter 1), or had to be neglected based on data restrictions (chapter 2). Furthermore, certainty and commitment with future life plans (as indicator for identity) are positively linked with marriage risks over time (chapter 3). Regarding leadership skills (LS), as one specific type of skills, similar associations to personality effects from study 1 and 2 have been found, i.e. LS are positively correlated with marriage and fertility (chapter 4). The mediating effects of income and education, are relatively small for all associations so that future research may examine the role of other potential mechanisms such as intentions, attitudes, or health. Additionally, sibling fixed effects approaches do not show large difference compared to the patterns that are described above.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University , 2024.
Serie
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 27
Nyckelord [en]
Psychological factors, family formation, personality, identity, leadership skills, marital behavior, fertility, partnership dissolution
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi
Forskningsämne
sociologisk demografi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227448ISBN: 978-91-8014-717-0 (tryckt)ISBN: 978-91-8014-718-7 (digital)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-227448DiVA, id: diva2:1844381
Disputation
2024-05-08, Hörsal 4, hus B, Södra huset, Universitetsvägen 10 and online via Zoom: https://stockholmuniversity.zoom.us/j/62742453631, Stockholm, 10:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2024-04-15 Skapad: 2024-03-13 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-04-05Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. The prospective power of personality for childbearing: a longitudinal study based on data from Germany
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The prospective power of personality for childbearing: a longitudinal study based on data from Germany
2023 (Engelska)Ingår i: Genus, ISSN 2035-5556, Vol. 79, nr 1, artikel-id 6Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

The link between personality and fertility is relatively underexplored. Moreover, there are only a few studies focusing on the prospective association between personality and childbearing. However, none of these studies considered the Five-Factor Model (FFM), which is the most widely accepted measurement of personality. The present study fills this gap by examining the prospective association between the FFM and the hazard ratio of the first and the second childbirth in Germany. Analyses are based on recent data (2005–2017) from the Socio-economic Panel Study. Cox proportional hazard models are applied. Findings demonstrate that personality traits are associated with fertility. Extraversion is positively linked with the first childbirth, but is negatively associated with the second childbirth. These findings are mainly driven by males. Agreeableness is positively linked with the first childbirth across the total sample. Again, this correlation is mainly based on the findings for men, among whom a positive association between agreeableness and the second childbirth is also found. Among women, personality does not seem to be linked with the first childbirth. However, the risk of having a second child is found to be negatively associated with conscientiousness. My study adds to the current understanding of the personality–fertility association by exploring the impact of personality trait scores from the FFM on subsequent fertility behavior. However, further research is needed on the association between personality and childbearing; on the mechanisms through which personality affects fertility; and on how these links differ across cultures, among higher parities, and for births after re-partnering.

Nyckelord
Fertility, Personality, Five-factor model, Hazard ratio
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-215908 (URN)10.1186/s41118-023-00184-y (DOI)000935868000001 ()2-s2.0-85148534544 (Scopus ID)
Tillgänglig från: 2023-03-29 Skapad: 2023-03-29 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-03-13Bibliografiskt granskad
2. The prospective power of personality factors for family formation and dissolution processes among males: Evidence from Swedish register data
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The prospective power of personality factors for family formation and dissolution processes among males: Evidence from Swedish register data
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Personality plays an essential role with respect to important life outcomes such as education or career success. Although these outcomes are linked with family formation processes, the association between personality and family formation (dissolution) has been underexplored in demographic research. This study contributes to existing research by examining the prospective association between two personality facets (social maturity (SM), and emotional stability (ES)) and family formation and dissolution processes, i.e. 1) marital status, 2) fertility, and 3) partnership dissolution as both a) divorce and b) cohabitation dissolution, based on large Swedish register data. Poisson regression, Linear Probability, and Cox proportional hazard models were applied for different outcomes. Findings suggest that males with high scores on SM and ES measured at age of assignment to military service (17-20 years) are more likely to get married by age 39 and higher. Regarding fertility, SM and ES reveal positive associations with offspring counts and negative associations with the probability of remaining childless by age 39 and higher. Relationship dissolution is negatively linked with SM and ES, in particular among the lowest personality scores. Further analyses using sibling comparisons support these findings.

Nyckelord
Family Formation, Male Fertility, Marital Behavior, Personality
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227446 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2024-03-13 Skapad: 2024-03-13 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-03-13
3. Identity and marriage: A bidirectional approach based on evidence from Finland
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Identity and marriage: A bidirectional approach based on evidence from Finland
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Psychological factors such as personality traits or skills have increasingly been studied with regards to family formation processes such as marital behavior in previous demographic research. Identity has received less attention as a predictor of important partnership outcomes although identity formation belongs to the crucial developmental processes in adolescence. We aim to address this gap by examining the bidirectional association between identity and marriage using longitudinal survey data from Finland. We apply event-history analyses in order to study the prospective power of both identity dimensions (variable-centered approach) and identity clusters (person-oriented approach) on marriage risks. Furthermore, we conduct fixed effects linear regression models for examining identity development over time based on marital status. Preliminary findings from the regression models suggest that identity uncertainty is negatively, and identity certainty is positively associated with marriage risks over time. Results based on cluster analyses support these findings, i.e. committers are more likely to get married than explorers. Mixed findings with regards to identity development have emerged. Whereas identity certainty remains stable over time among married individuals, it decreases among singles. Identity uncertainty, however, has not shown different developments over time according to marital status.

Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227447 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2024-03-13 Skapad: 2024-03-13 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-03-13
4. Leadership skills and family formation among males: A study based on Swedish register data
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Leadership skills and family formation among males: A study based on Swedish register data
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Leadership skills (LS) may increase individuals’ chances of ascending to a higher rank in hierarchical social structures, which can, in turn, enable them to provide greater support for a partner and, eventually, a potential child. Moreover, LS may be beneficial within a partnership, as they may be associated with a set of social skills, such as a respectful communication style. Nevertheless, research on the association between LS and family formation processes (marital behavior, fertility) is relatively scarce. We explore the prospective association between LS and marriage as well as completed fertility for 650,947 males from Sweden. Poisson regression and linear probability models are applied for this purpose. Additionally, we use fixed effects models to examine potential differences between within- and between-family considerations. Our findings demonstrate a positive association between males’ LS, as measured at the age of assignment to military service (17-20 years), and their probability of marrying by age 39 or older. Furthermore, we find that LS are positively linked with the number of children, and are negatively linked with the probability of remaining childless, among the men in our sample. Mediation effects of income, education and parenthood/marital status for the link between LS and family formation are rather small.

Nyckelord
Leadership, Marriage, Completed Fertility, Male Fertility
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227445 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2024-03-13 Skapad: 2024-03-13 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-03-13

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