From Childhood to Adulthood? Ethnic and Socio-Cultural Patterns and Results of Having Children at a Young Age
University of Miskolc, Hungary
In my paper I focus on the question of having children at a young age. I examine the phenomenon from a sociological point of view with a special focus on Europe. I analyze the ethnical dimension of this behavior, examine its reasons and individual and social consequences. I put a special emphasis on the consequences of having children at a young age (especially in segregated Roma communities) on the status of women. Having children is a step from childhood to adulthood and has a role in building an adult social identity but also contributes to the replication of poverty and exclusion. In order to analyze the phenomenon I apply the models developed by Coleman, Lewis, Kelly, Stack, Gyukits, Durst, Lazarsfeld, Gyenei, Husz and others. The research is based on 30 qualitative interviews with Roma women living in segregated environments in 5 settlements in the North Hungarian region and is complemented by additional fieldwork and focus group interviews.
Besides the models already mentioned I also use the work of Lazarsfeld et al. (1929) on remedial strategies in Marienthal. By doing so, I present my results from a socio-political aspect as well – touching upon the social policies and dilemmas labeling certain behaviors and creating desired and expected behavioral patterns.
Therefore my presentation focuses not only on the ethnic specificities of such behavior but also the resulting stigmatization in which having children at a young age leads to social exclusion.
The Hungarian cases are compared to the behavioral patterns of having children in other Roma/Gypsy communities of similar socio-cultural status in other post-socialist countries (primarily Slovakia and Romania).
Heterogeneous Causal Effects of Early Fertility Timing on Mid-life Mental Health: Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study
University of Queensland, Australia
A large literature documents detrimental consequences of early entry into parenthood, for the future life chances of parents and children. However, almost all studies assume that the effects under study are homogeneous, or at best acknowledge the potential for heterogeneity before proceeding to estimate average effects. The assumption of effect homogeneity is useful in simplifying the estimation problem, but is unlikely to hold in most practical applications in the social sciences – individuals differ in a great many ways, and it is therefore unrealistic to assume that they should all respond in the same way to a given event or intervention. Small average effects fail to identify segments of the population where detrimental effects are large, while hiding segments of the population where early parenthood may be unproblematic. Understanding how the responses to alternative fertility timings differ within a population is imperative when planning prevention and intervention efforts, as it helps us better understand when and for whom early parenthood is an issue. Diaz and Fiel’s (2016) recent work provides evidence that the effects of teen pregnancy are heterogeneous with respect to socio-economic outcomes in early adulthood, however no previous study has investigated heterogeneous effects of fertility timing on mental health outcomes.
In this paper we use Bayesian Additive Regression Trees (BART) to model individual¬-level causal effects of early- and late- first births on mid-life mental health outcomes, drawing on data from the 1970 British Cohort Study. As a method for estimating causal effects from observational data, BART has a number of compelling advantages over commonly used competing methods, including the ability to estimate the full sample distribution of the conditional average treatment effects (CATE).
Pasts, Presents, Futures: Exploring Young People’s Contraceptive Work in Sweden
Lund University, Sweden
Reproductive inequality persists as long as contraceptives are constructed as women’s work, issue and responsibility. While certain aspects of contraceptive use have been explored, such studies tend to ignore many aspects of what it means to be a contraceptive user responsible for planning, implementing and negotiating contraceptive use in everyday-life; that is, doing contraceptive work. As such, my research aims to expand the understanding of what it means to be a contraceptive user, what this contraceptive work entails and how it is constructed and stratified by gender, sexuality, ethnicity/racialisation and other categories of difference. Drawing on my previous research, I suggest that contraceptive work might best be understood as a multi-faceted endeavour made up of several intersecting forms of work, namely: physical, practical, financial, social/relational, emotional and knowledge. Through this empirical study, which centres on young people’s experiences of being contraceptive users in Sweden, I aim to one, produce a new theoretical framework for understanding the various and intersecting dimensions of contraceptive work and two, work towards the creation of a radically different, more equal and fair reproductive landscape.
Parity Specific Fertility Transitions in Europe
Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany
This study explores parity specific fertility transitions and individual sociocultural factors in ten European countries. It aims to identify the gender specific motivations for the birth of a first, second and third child. Following the Theory of Planned Behavior and Value of Children Approach, we assume sociocultural factors as crucial to discover the specific rationalities behind births of different order.
Using panel data stemming from the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS), we analyze the transition to first, second and third child within a period of three years, based on men and women aged between 18 to 45 years old.
The main explaining variables are attitudes towards children that are differentiated into anticipated costs and utilities of children as well as social norms.
Multivariate analyses demonstrate that social pressure matters for all births and both sexes, which go in line with the previous research. Furthermore, our results show considerable gender effects as costs are relevant to men only when it comes the first child birth. For women on the other hand, subjective costs impact the birth of a second child significantly, which reflects the costs faced by women, particularly in deciding to have more than one child. While the first and second child is less influenced by intergenerational transmission, this social norm seems to be decisive for the birth of the third child, especially for men.
Overall, this study provides new insights into the link between sociocultural factors on the one hand and formation and enlargement of families on the other. Further steps of this work of progress are the analyses of different countries and an attempt of country groupings in order to identify cross-national differences.