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Emotional Variation and Fertility Behavior

Publication Abstract

Axinn, William G., Dirgha J. Ghimire, and Emily Smith-Greenaway. 2017. "Emotional Variation and Fertility Behavior." Demography, 54(2): 437-458.

Emotional influences on fertility behaviors are an understudied topic that may offer a clear explanation of why many couples choose to have children even when childbearing is not economically rational. With setting-specific measures of the husband-wife emotional bond appropriate for large-scale population research matched with data from a long-term panel study, we have the empirical tools to provide a test of the influence of emotional factors on contraceptive use to limit fertility. This article presents those tests. We use long-term, multilevel community and family panel data to demonstrate that the variance in levels of husband-wife emotional bond is significantly associated with their subsequent use of contraception to avert births. We discuss the wide-ranging implications of this intriguing new result.

10.1007/s13524-017-0555-5

PMCID: PMC5426117. (Pub Med Central)

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