European Journal of Population

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 575–597

Who Delays Childbearing? The Associations Between Time to First Birth, Personality Traits and Education


DOI: 10.1007/s10680-016-9393-1

Cite this article as:
Tavares, L.P. Eur J Population (2016) 32: 575. doi:10.1007/s10680-016-9393-1


Using data from a large-scale survey, the British Household Panel Survey, this paper assesses the influence of personality traits on the timing of first childbirth and investigates whether, and in what way, personality traits explain the differences in maternity timing across educational groups. We estimate a log-logistic model of the time to first childbirth and show that there is a statistically significant relationship between the Big Five personality traits and the timing of motherhood. The results also show that highly qualified women who are ‘open-minded’ have the lowest hazards of childbirth, lower than similar less educated counterparts.


Reproductive behaviour Fertility determinants Delayed childbearing Personality Big Five Educational status 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
  • SFRH/BD/18356/2004
European Research Council
  • Grant StG-201194

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CAPP, Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e PolíticasUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social DynamicsBocconi UniversityMilanItaly
  3. 3.CICS.NOVA, Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências SociaisUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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