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Jennings, Elyse Ann, and Jennifer S. Barber. 2011. "The Influence of Individual and Neighbor Attitudes on Progression to Higher Parity Birth." PSC Research Report No. 11-738. May 2011.
Large families can have a negative impact on the health and well-being of women, children, and their communities. Although 60% of people in our rural Nepalese sample report that two children is the ideal, nearly half of married women in our sample continue to give birth after their second child. We explore the attitudinal influences behind women’s progression to third and fourth births, investigating the influences of both neighbors’ and women’s own attitudes and comparing these influences across two cohorts. We find that a) women’s attitudes tend to have a strong influence on their higher parity fertility, b) neighbors’ attitudes sometimes have an independent influence on women’s fertility, but do not explain the individual-level effect, c) younger cohorts of women are influenced by both their own attitudes and their neighbors’ attitudes, and d) older cohorts of women are more influenced by neighbors’ attitudes than their own attitudes.
Country of focus: Nepal.