Intergenerational Influences on Family Formation in a Changing Social Context

Project Details

Investigators: William G. Axinn, PI, Dirgha J. Ghimire, Co-I.

Description: This project studies the influence of mothers and fathers on the family formation experiences of young adults. The project focuses on five main aspects of young adult family formation: entrance into first marriage; rates of contraceptive use; sterilization; and rates of child birth, including both first births and progression to higher parity. We investigate the ways in which central aspects of the parental family—socioeconomic achievements and aspirations, family attitudes and behavior, religious beliefs and behavior, and the organization of social activities in the parental home—influence family formation. In addition to investigating the overall influence of the parental family, we examine individual effects of fathers and mothers, thereby giving us more detailed insight into specific intergenerational dynamics. A second specific aim is creating and investigating an intergenerational model of the influence of community context on family and demographic behavior. We examine this model by investigating the overall influence of context on young adult behavior, the direct effects on young adults after parental factors are added, and the indirect effects through the behavior and attitudes of the parents. As part of this contextual-intergenerational model, we also examine the ways in which the influence of parents depends on the context in which families live. Our investigation of this contextual-intergenerational model of family formation takes advantage of a longitudinal data resource in Nepal that is especially powerful for the purposes of this study.

Coverage: Nepal.

Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. R01 HD032912. $2,501,948. 2007-2013.