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Determinants of the choice for having children

Gert Stulp
Gert Stulp

Gert Stulp

Starting a family is a life-changing event, and yet we still lack a good understanding of the factors that underlie the decisions to have a child, nor those that prompt people to continue having more children. Moreover, in modern industrial society, we are faced with the puzzling fact that there are high rates of unintended childlessness as well as significant numbers of people who end up with a larger family size than desired. Such patterns suggest that fertility control is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon. In our research, we investigate the determinants of people’s intentions to have a child and their actual fertility outcomes. Specifically, we focus on how an individual’s social network influences their fertility intentions and subsequent decisions: do networks that include many family members facilitate fertility decisions? Does the behaviour of friends affect an individual’s reproductive decision-making? And how do networks themselves change after a person becomes a parent?

Gert Stulp is researcher in Sociology.

Last modified:27 September 2016 3.01 p.m.
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