Demography

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 437–458 | Cite as

Emotional Variation and Fertility Behavior

  • William G. Axinn
  • Dirgha J. Ghimire
  • Emily Smith-Greenaway
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Fertility limitation Spousal emotions Contraceptive use Family change 

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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • William G. Axinn
    • 1
  • Dirgha J. Ghimire
    • 1
  • Emily Smith-Greenaway
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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