PhD ceremony: Ms. N.F.G. Balbo, 9.00 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: Family, friends and fertility
Promotor(s): prof. M.C. Mills
Faculty: Bevavioural and Social Sciences
This book is a collection of five articles designed with the overarching aim of providing a multi-dimensional, methodologically rigorous approach to the investigation of how an individual’s social network influences their fertility decision-making. So far, fertility research has largely focused on the effect of micro-level, individual factors or macro-level, institutional settings. This dissertation aims to integrate meso-level, social network factors into existing approaches. Different sides of an individual’s social network are investigated, including its use as a source of relevant resources and as a place where interactions between people mean that they are exposed to and influenced by others’ opinions and behaviors. Moreover, this study examines social relationships with different types of actors (e.g., family, friends, peers), with the intent of extending existing research, which has focused mainly on the family network only. The research covers all three phases of the decision-making process: the formation of an intention to have a child, the realization of that intention and the final behavior. In doing so, the interrelation between marital and childbearing decisions is also examined. Using different datasets and exploring different methods, this dissertation provides new insights into the importance of the role of social networks in fertility decision-making.
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