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J Biosoc Sci. 1989 Oct;21(4):387-98.

Who remains childless?

Abstract

Who are the men and women who are childless in their mid-30s? Life history data for a British cohort born in 1946 show that age at marriage and marital breakdown were clearly associated with childlessness. Women who were only children were more likely to be childless than those with siblings. Further, early menarcheal age, being highly qualified and having a high status occupation were indirectly related to childlessness. For men, particularly amongst those who had experienced a broken marriage, it was the most ambitious, the highly educated and those in professional occupations who were relatively more likely to be childless.

PIP:

Life history data for a British cohort born in 1946 show that age at marriage and marital breakdown were clearly associated with childlessness. Women who were only children were more likely to be childless than those with siblings. Further, early menarcheal age, being highly qualified and having a high status occupation were indirectly related to childlessness. For men, particularly amongst those who had experienced a broken marriage, it was the most ambitious, the highly educated, and those in professional occupations who were relatively more likely to be childless. Amongst both men and women in intact marriages, age at marriage was the most important factor, amongst the few that could be identified, that was related to the probability of being childless at age 36. Exposure time is unlikely to be the explanation for these differences as all had been married for some 10 years or more. This suggests that social and psychological factors that promote later marriage may be part of the same set that promote more negative attitudes to childbearing.

PMID:
2808466
DOI:
10.1017/s0021932000018125
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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