The Formation and Realization of Fertility Goals Among a US Cohort in the Post-Recession Years


Guzzo, Karen Benjamin (2022). The Formation and Realization of Fertility Goals Among a US Cohort in the Post-Recession Years. Population and Development Review. , PMCID: PMC10653098


The United States has experienced a sustained fertility decline, with those currently in their childbearing years facing unique constraints. Drawing from the Theory of Conjunctural Action and the Narratives of the Future framework, this work considers how objective and subjective socioeconomic conditions, psychosocial characteristics, and perceptions of well-being are linked to mothers’ and childless women's (a) prospective fertility intentions during the Great Recession, (b) realization of those intentions in the post-Recession period, and (c) fertility intentions toward the end of the reproductive years, using Waves IV and V of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. The results confirm the role of standard socioeconomic measures and also highlight the importance of subjective measures. In general, more advantaged women were more likely to intend to have (more) children at both waves and to have children between waves. Furthermore, women who already had children by the Great Recession were more likely than their childless peers to have a(nother) child in the post-Recession period. As this cohort approaches the end of its childbearing years, having unfulfilled fertility plans from earlier in the reproductive life course is a strong predictor of continuing to intend at least one birth.




Reference Type

Journal Article

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Population and Development Review


Guzzo, Karen Benjamin

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