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Author: Cain, Virginia S.
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Cain, Virginia S.
Changing Fertility Expectations of American Youth
Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Maryland, 1986
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Adolescent Fertility; Childbearing; Family Formation; Fertility; Gender Differences; Marital Status; Racial Differences

Recent research indicates that the discrepancy between final fertility and earlier birth expectations results not only from people not achieving their original goal but also from the goal itself changing. This study tested the hypothesis that changes in fertility plans are related to other events occurring in the lives of the young adults. This research examined changes in fertility plans between 1979 and 1983 among the NLSY. The sample was divided on the basis of gender, racial/ethnic group, age, and parental status, first child born between 1979 and 1983, and first child born before the 1979 interview. Findings showed considerable change in fertility plans between 1979 and 1983. Almost 50 percent of the sample reported a change, with the majority of those reducing the number of children expected. Variables most important for explaining changes in birth expectations were those related to family formation. Generally, marriage was associated with a reduced likelihood of lowering birth expectations while divorce increased the likelihood of reducing the expected number of children. The results point to several areas that could benefit from further investigation. The models providing the best fit of the data were those for white women with children. This suggests the need for considering a different framework for explaining fertility among non-whites. The exploratory analyses of the data from the men and childless women show the importance of family formation issues for fertility plans but indicate the need for considering the multiplicity of family forms in which young adults live.
Bibliography Citation
Cain, Virginia S. Changing Fertility Expectations of American Youth. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Maryland, 1986.