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Marital Uncertainty and Childbearing

Scott M. Myers
Social Forces
Vol. 75, No. 4 (Jun., 1997), pp. 1271-1289
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580671
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580671
Page Count: 19
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Marital Uncertainty and Childbearing
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Abstract

I use data from a U.S. sample of married adults and hypotheses guided by the Uncertainty Reduction Theory of Parenthood (Friedman, Hechter & Kanazawa 1994) to examine how marital solidarity and uncertainty affect the odds of having a child. The analyses do not support the idea that couples who lack marital solidarity and are unhappy with their marriages use childbearing as a strategy to increase solidarity and, in turn, reduce marital uncertainty. Instead, the dominant pattern is that a solid marriage and compatability between spouses encourage parenthood and higher-order childbearing. The results are also discussed in terms of economic and normative theories of fertility.

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