European Journal of Population

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 259–285 | Cite as

Family Attitudes and Fertility Timing in Sweden

  • Jennifer A. HollandEmail author
  • Renske Keizer


Employing a novel latent attitude profile approach, as developed by Moors (Eur J Popul 24:33–57, 2008), within the theory of planned behavior, this paper models the association between attitudes and the transition to parenthood. We use survey data from the Young Adult Panel Study (1999) and linked prospective population register data (1999–2009) to investigate the family attitudes and fertility timing of a sample of three birth cohorts in Sweden, a country at the leading edge of family change in Europe. We generate latent attitude profiles of men and women based on attitudes related to the Value of Children, the Second Demographic Transition, and Competing Alternatives. We then show that compared with Children- and Partnership-Oriented individuals, the Partnership-Oriented and Non-Family-Oriented were less likely to transition to parenthood. We found greater diversity in fertility behavior by latent attitude profiles than previous work, suggesting that more attention should be given to the role of attitude profiles in determining modern-day fertility intentions and behavior.


Transition to parenthood Fertility Attitudes Sweden Latent class analysis Administrative register data 



The authors gratefully acknowledge helpful suggestions from Eva Bernhardt, Helga de Valk, Dana Garbarski, Kia Sorensen, Elizabeth Thomson, Kimberly Turner; two anonymous reviewers; and the participants of the international conference on “Changing Families and Fertility Choices,” sponsored by the Research Council of Norway and Statistics Norway (Oslo, Norway; June 2013). This work was supported in part by the European Research Council Starting Grant project “Families of migrant origin: a life course perspective” (project number 263829) and a Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research Veni grant (grant number 016.125.054).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Statistics and DemographyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic InstituteThe HagueThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of SociologyErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Research Institute of Child Development and Education (CDE), Faculty of Social and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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