Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

The Concept and Measurement of Child Dependency: An Approach to Family Formation Analysis

Allan Schnaiberg
Population Studies
Vol. 27, No. 1 (Mar., 1973), pp. 69-84
DOI: 10.2307/2173453
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2173453
Page Count: 16
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
The Concept and Measurement of Child Dependency: An Approach to Family Formation Analysis
Preview not available

Abstract

Two distinctions appear crucial in the study of human fertility: (1) aggregate versus individual-level analysis; and (2) true explanations versus `demographic explanations', using Stinchcombe's terminology. Social demographers analysing fertility have been accustomed to using fertility measurements derived from aggregative population analyses, and have largely terminated their analytic efforts at the level of a `demographic explanation'. The failure to arrive at a social analysis of the process of fertility decision-making may in part to be due to this measurement heritage, which may be inappropriate for individual-level analyses. As a first step in the direction of creating measurement suitable for such analyses, fertility decision-making is labelled as family formation decision-making, and this is linked to the concept of child dependency. Measures of child-years-of-dependency (CYD) are proposed for use in family formation analysis. These integrate current quantity and tempo measures, and have greater potential for use at the level of the family. They require no additional data beyond fertility histories, are flexible in terms of non-modal family situations (e.g. divorce, infant or child mortality) and may be indicators of criteria used by couples in planning their fertility. Refinements of the basic CYD measures are explored. These include analyses of average versus marginal costs of child-rearing, age gradients of costs and social class differentials in costs. All of these are intended to make CYD measures more useful in individual cost-benefit analyses of child-bearing and child-rearing.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
69
    69
  • Thumbnail: Page 
70
    70
  • Thumbnail: Page 
71
    71
  • Thumbnail: Page 
72
    72
  • Thumbnail: Page 
73
    73
  • Thumbnail: Page 
74
    74
  • Thumbnail: Page 
75
    75
  • Thumbnail: Page 
76
    76
  • Thumbnail: Page 
77
    77
  • Thumbnail: Page 
78
    78
  • Thumbnail: Page 
79
    79
  • Thumbnail: Page 
80
    80
  • Thumbnail: Page 
81
    81
  • Thumbnail: Page 
82
    82
  • Thumbnail: Page 
83
    83
  • Thumbnail: Page 
84
    84