Ideational Influences on Marriage and Childbearing

Project Details

Investigators: Arland Thornton, PI, Dirgha J. Ghimire, Co-I, Jennifer S. Barber, Co-I, William G. Axinn, Co-I.

Description: This project investigates the influence of ideational factors on family life. In recent years scholars have identified many beliefs and values to be important influences on marriage and reproductive behavior, and these ideational factors have become important elements in theories of family and demographic change. The proposed project will investigate the interrelated influence of these ideational factors on both nuptiality and fertility. We will also examine how these ideational factors intersect with a wide range of socioeconomic structural factors in influencing marriage, contraceptive use, and childbearing. This research will be conducted in Nepal, which provides a particularly useful setting for studying ideational influences on nuptiality and fertility. Our research concerning the influence of ideational factors on family and demographic behavior has five specific aims. First, we will examine how ideational factors influence marriage behavior, focusing primarily on the transition into first marital union. Second, we will investigate how ideational factors intersect with socioeconomic structures to influence entrance into marriage. Third, we will study how ideational factors influence fertility, considering both childbearing and the use of contraception. Fourth, we will examine the ways in which ideational, social, and economic structures intersect and combine to influence contraception and childbearing. Fifth, we will examine how these ideational influences vary by both gender and age and will examine husband-wife dynamics in fertility decisions. We will achieve these goals by modifying and expanding the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS), which already contains extensive information concerning socioeconomic factors measured at the individual, family, and community levels.

Coverage: Nepal.

Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. R01 HD054847. $2,925,229. 2008-2014.