Do Parents Matter? Intergenerational Ties and Fertility Intention in a Low Fertility Context

Feinian Chen, University of Maryland
Yingchun Ji, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Yong Cai, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Zhenzhen Zheng, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Feng Wang, University of California, Irvine
Baochang Gu, Renmin University of China

This study integrates two lines of research in the classic fertility literature to investigate fertility intention in the below-replacement setting of China: one on the effect of family structure and the other on cultural/normative influences of the family size of origin. Using data from Jiangsu Fertility Intention and Behavior Study (JFIBS), the research examines multidimensional influences of intergenerational ties on married women’s fertility preferences in China. Preliminary results suggest that intergenerational ties do matter, with noticeable differences between the influences of parents versus parents-in-law. Co-residence with parents is positively associated with married women’s fertility intention while co-residence with in-laws has no effect. Both availability of childcare by and grandson preference of parents and in-laws have positive effects. Contrary to findings from previous research, the size of family of origin of both the woman and her husband is negatively related to her fertility intention.

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Presented in Session 183: Contextual Influences on Fertility Intentions