What Predicts Fertility Intention Persistence and Change during Adolescence and Middle Adulthood?
Jacinda K. Dariotis, Pennsylvania State University
To what extent do family formation intentions change or remain persistent? This research question is assessed using both The Intergenerational Study of Families and Children and the NLSY-79. This study examines fertility intention reports (how many children people intend to have) from adolescence through middle adulthood to evaluate how and why these intentions change or persist over the course of development from age 15 to 45. Change may range from small to large differences in the number of intended children. All potential change combinations are examined in terms of factors that predict small changes (i.e., adjacent value changes – intention change from one child to two children, vice versa, and so on), large changes (i.e., value changes exceeding one – intention change from one child to three children or four children, vice versa, and so on), and qualitatively different changes (i.e., intention of wanting no children to wanting any children and vice versa).