What Are the Determinants of Intentions for Childlessness?

Anna Rybinska, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The results from the latest National Survey of Family Growth indicate that the prevalence of the intentions for childlessness among young women in America is increasing. At the same time, empirical studies provide evidence that intentions for childlessness serve as a strong predictor of subsequent permanent childlessness. Despite the rising prevalence of intentions for having no children among young women, and their strong connection to permanent childlessness, little is known about what contributes to the development of such reports. In this project, I examine the determinants of intentions for childlessness for a cohort of American women who participated in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The effects of the changes in women’s marital histories, professional careers, and educational enrollment on the probability of reporting an intention for childlessness are explored. Methods of longitudinal data analysis (fixed and random effects models) are used to capture the dynamic nature of women’s lives.

Presented in Session 98: Childlessness