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Monica Grant, Free Primary Education & Age of First Birth in Malawi

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Intergenerational Influences on the Entry into Parenthood: Mothers' Preferences for Family and Nonfamily Behavior

Publication Abstract

Barber, Jennifer S. 2000. "Intergenerational Influences on the Entry into Parenthood: Mothers' Preferences for Family and Nonfamily Behavior." Social Forces, 79(1): 319-348.

This article examines the extent to which childbearing behavior is determined by mothers' preferences versus individuals' own preferences. The theoretical framework is based on socialization and social control. A total of 835 mother-child pairs from the Intergenerational Panel Study of Parents and Children, a long-term longitudinal study, are analyzed using hazard models. The empirical analyses show that both sons and daughters whose mothers prefer early marriage, large families, low levels of education, and stay-at-home mothers enter parenthood earlier than their peers, and analyses show support for both socialization and social control mechanisms. The study concludes that mothers' preferences have a strong influence on when their children become parents by guiding them on different pathways toward adulthood.

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