The Nonmarital Childbearing Network

The Intersection Between Childbearing and Union Status

Projects


Examining nonmarital childbearing across Europe: how do unions change throughout the childbearing process?

Members
Brienna Perelli-Harris, Michaela Kreyenfeld, Wendy Sigle-Rushton, Trude Lappegård, Aiva Jasilioniene, Paola Di Giulio, Renske Keizer, Katja Köppen, Caroline Berghammer
General description Over the past several decades, childbearing within cohabitation has increased throughout Europe. This changing behavior may indicate that cohabitation is becoming an "alternative to marriage;" however, pregnancy and birth may also prompt changes in union status. Using union and fertility histories from 11 countries, we employ life-tables to analyze the intersection between union status and childbearing. With data extending back to the 1970s, we investigate how this relationship has changed over time. We examine whether cohabiting unions with children are more likely to be converted to marriage or dissolve and examine union transitions for women who were single at conception or birth. We find that patterns of union status and childbearing develop along different trajectories depending on the country. Despite widespread claims that marriage is disappearing in Europe, our findings suggest that marriage still remains the predominant institution for raising a family.
Presentations Perelli-Harris, B. and W. Sigle-Rushton: Changes in union status between first and second births: findings from across Europe. Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Dallas, TX. April 2010.

Perelli-Harris, B., W. Sigle-Rushton, T. Lappegard, A. Jasilionene, P. Di Giulio, K. Köppen, D. Kostova, R. Keizer:
Examining nonmarital childbearing across Europe: Does childbearing change the meaning of cohabitation? Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Detroit, MI, April 2009.
Publications Perelli-Harris, B., M. Kreyenfeld, W. Sigle-Rushton, R. Keizer, T. Lappegård, A. Jasilioniene, C. Berghammer, P. Di Giulio (2012): "Changes in union status during the transition to parenthood in eleven European countries, 1970s to early 2000s." Population Studies. 60(2): 167-182.
Working papers Perelli-Harris, B., W. Sigle-Rushton, T. Lappegård, P. Di Giulio, A. Jasilioniene, K. Renske, K. Köppen, C. Berghammer, M. Kreyenfeld (2009): "The increase in fertility in cohabitation across Europe: Examining the intersection between union status and childbearing." MPIDR Working Paper WP-2009-021 [ pdf-version]




 

 

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