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Making the decision to have a child

Klobas, J.E. and Ajzen, I. (2014) Making the decision to have a child. In: Philipov, D., Liefbroer, A.C. and Klobas, J.E., (eds.) Reproductive Decision-Making in a Macro-Micro Perspective. Springer Netherlands, pp. 41-78.

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The decision to have a child is influenced by many contextual factors. We consider country of residence, sex, partnership status, age, and the number of children a person already has (parity) and use the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to show that these factors influence child-bearing decisions indirectly by their effects on one or more of the theory’s major predictors. Thus, for each contextual variable, we identify personal attitudes toward having a child, social influences (subjective norms), and life situation factors associated with perceived behavioural control and describe their role in the child-bearing decision. Our analyses are based on data obtained from 38,813 respondents to the Generations and Gender Survey in eight countries: Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia and Russia. We conclude that each of the contextual variables considered plays a part in setting the background for the decision to have a child, and we explain their effects by considering the beliefs associated with attitudes to having a child, with subjective norms and with perceived behavioural control. The relative importance of different beliefs, and the relative effects of attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control vary with both national and personal context as a person goes through the life course.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Copyright: Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
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