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The Changing Relationship Between Fertility Expectations and Educational Expectations: Adolescents in the 1970s Versus the 1980s

Publication Abstract

Lynn, Freda B., Barbara Schneider, and Zhenmei Zhang. 2013. "The Changing Relationship Between Fertility Expectations and Educational Expectations: Adolescents in the 1970s Versus the 1980s." Journal of Family Issues, 34(9): 1147-1174.

This article examines the relationship between young women's fertility expectations and educational expectations in late adolescence and at the outset of adulthood. Given progressive macro-level changes in the United States beginning in the 1960s, we compare the expectation patterns of youth from two cohorts using data from the National Longitudinal Surveys. We find that the relationship between education and fertility expectations is statistically negligible for those born in the height of the baby boom (1950s) and yet statistically positive for those born at the tail end of the baby boom (1960s). The crux of the change, however, is not driven by an increase in those who pair high educational expectations with normative or above-norm fertility expectations but rather an increase in young women who pair modest educational ambitions with low fertility expectations.

DOI:10.1177/0192513X12457554 (Full Text)

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