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Changing Gender Roles and Attitudes to Family Formation in Ireland$
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Margret Fine-Davis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096969

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096969.001.0001

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Predictors of ideal and expected family size

Predictors of ideal and expected family size

(p.152) 9 Predictors of ideal and expected family size
Changing Gender Roles and Attitudes to Family Formation in Ireland

Margret Fine-Davis

Manchester University Press

Ireland’s fertility rate has decreased by 50% from an average of four children per woman to just two over the last 40 years. While it currently has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe, this may not continue, as Ireland continues to become more like its European partners. There are discrepancies between people’s ideal and expected number of children, demonstrating that people expect to have fewer children than they would ideally like to have. In order to better understand the factors contributing to people’s attitudes to having children, we examined potential predictors of ideal and expected family size. These included a wide range of measures including demographic characteristics and attitudinal variables. The results showed that the most significant predictors of both ideal and expected family size came from a range of attitudinal measures, which included Attitudes to Gender Roles, Attitudes to Having Children, Attitudes to Social Policies, and Attitudes to Family Formation, as well as measures of values and priorities, with only a single demographic characteristic a significant predictor, demonstrating the strong predictive power of attitudinal variables.

Keywords:   Ideal Family Size, Predictors of Ideal Family Size, Expected Family Size, Predictors of Expected Family Size, Fertility

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