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Book part

Katrina A. R. Akande and Claudia J. Heath

Nonresident fathers have the task of negotiating childrearing responsibilities while residing away from their children. Parenting stress arises when nonresident fathers…

Abstract

Nonresident fathers have the task of negotiating childrearing responsibilities while residing away from their children. Parenting stress arises when nonresident fathers perceive childrearing power differentials as maternal gatekeeping behaviors. In this pilot study, a mediation model was tested with a sample of Black fathers who reported coparenting a nonresident child or children with only one mother (n = 80). The proposed mediation model tested two hypotheses: (1) coparenting relationship and coparenting support, respectively, each have a direct effect on paternal stressors and (2) the effects of coparenting relationship and coparenting support on fathers’ paternal stressors are mediated through maternal gatekeeping behaviors. Findings indicate that cooperative coparenting lessens parental stressors such as concerns about role functions and concerns about their child’s behavior in the presence of controlling maternal gatekeeping behaviors.

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Transitions into Parenthood: Examining the Complexities of Childrearing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-222-0

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Article

Mariska van der Horst, Tanja van der Lippe and Esther Kluwer

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate how work and family aspirations relate to occupational achievements and gender differences herein.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how work and family aspirations relate to occupational achievements and gender differences herein.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from 2009 the authors examined the relationship between career and childrearing aspirations and occupational achievements of Dutch parents. Using path modeling in Mplus, the authors investigated both direct and indirect pathways where aspirations were related to occupational achievements via time allocations.

Findings

The authors found that ranking being promoted instead of a non-career aspiration as the most important job aspiration was positively related to occupational achievements. Surprisingly, the authors also found that ranking childrearing as the most important life role aspiration was positively related to earnings among fathers.

Research limitations/implications

Investigating aspirations in multiple domains simultaneously can provide new information on working parents’ occupational achievements.

Practical implications

The results imply that parents who want to achieve an authority position or high earnings may need to prioritize their promotion aspiration among their job aspirations in order to increase the likelihood of achieving such a position. Moreover, this is likely to require sacrifices outside the work domain, since spending more time on paid work is an important way to achieve this aspiration.

Originality/value

This paper adds to previous research by explicitly taking life role aspirations into account instead of focussing solely on job aspirations. Moreover, this study extends previous research by investigating indirect pathways from aspirations to occupational achievements via family work in addition to the previously found pathway via paid work.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article

Yuko Nozaki

Cost-benefit theory cannot explain the inverse relationship between education and fertility behavior among developed countries. The purpose of this paper is to examine…

Abstract

Purpose

Cost-benefit theory cannot explain the inverse relationship between education and fertility behavior among developed countries. The purpose of this paper is to examine psychological factors in fertility decisions, focusing on the number of children and determinants involved in the decision to have three or more children.

Design/methodology/approach

Two empirical models were employed utilizing data from the Japanese General Social Survey of 2005 and 2006. An ordered logit model was used to examine how educational background impacts the number of children people choose to have. A logit model focused on psychological factors was used to investigate the effect of the burden of childcare on the decision to have more children.

Findings

The probability of a third birth declines as the number of years of education increases for women, but not for men. Women whose mothers were housewives tended to have fewer children, whereas women who live in families and are homeowners were likely to have more children. For women, the most influential factor in the decision to have a child was awareness of childrearing costs. Men from higher-class, higher-income families tended to have more children.

Practical implications

The analysis indicates that maternal leave or systemic re-employment support can impact a woman’s decision to have a child.

Social implications

The inverse relationship between women’s fertility behavior and education can be partially explained by the awareness among educated women of the duties and burdens of childrearing.

Originality/value

This study contributes to practical information concerning the role of psychological factors in fertility decisions.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part

Kei Nomaguchi and Marshal Neal Fettro

Past studies suggest that full-time maternal employment may be negatively related to children’s cognitive development. Most studies measure maternal employment at one time…

Abstract

Past studies suggest that full-time maternal employment may be negatively related to children’s cognitive development. Most studies measure maternal employment at one time point, while mothers’ work hours may not be stable during early childrearing years. Using data from the 2001 Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Birth Cohort (N ≈ 6,500), the authors examine stability in mothers’ work hours across four waves when children are 9 and 24 months old, in preschool, and in kindergarten, mothers’ background characteristics associated to it, and its link to child cognitive development. Results show that the majority of mothers change work hours across the four waves. Analysis using multinomial logistic regression models suggests that mothers’ older age, fewer children, and higher household income are related to working full time at all four waves compared to varying work hours across the waves; more children and less than high school completion are related to staying home at all four waves; and mothers’ older age, being White, no change in partnership status, and holding a college degree are related to working part time at all four waves. Compared to mothers’ changing work hours, mothers’ stable work hours, full time or part time, at all four waves is related to children’s better reading, math, and cognitive scores in kindergarten, whereas mothers’ staying home at all four waves is negatively related to these scores. These associations disappear when background characteristics are controlled for in ordinary least squares regression models. These findings underscore the role of background characteristics in shaping both mothers’ stable employment and children’s cognitive development.

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The Work-Family Interface: Spillover, Complications, and Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-112-4

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Alyssa Mullins

Explanations for voluntary or intentional childlessness range from macro-level forces, such as feminism and access to contraceptives, to micro-level or individual…

Abstract

Explanations for voluntary or intentional childlessness range from macro-level forces, such as feminism and access to contraceptives, to micro-level or individual preferences, such as the prioritisation of leisure time over childrearing. However, some researchers contend that the decision (not) to have children is likely impacted by overlapping factors rather than a dichotomised characterisation of internal or external factors. This debate similarly reflects Pierre Bourdieu’s ‘third way’ theoretical and methodological orientation. Bourdieu argued against a false dichotomy between the influence of structure over an individual and the ability for individuals to make active, free choices. He instead claimed that the social world consists of a complex interplay of both individual and structural factors, which he conceptualised as habitus, capital and fields. This chapter initiates the link between current understandings of childbearing preferences with Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus (our taken-for-granted, internalised ideologies or identities), capital (economic, social, cultural and symbolic resources) and fields (the external social structures or institutions in which we interact) and proposes quantitative measures of childbearing habitus and capital.

This chapter consists of an exploratory comparison of characteristics of non-parents in relation to childbearing preferences, suggesting measures to identify deeply rooted childbearing habitus and the relationship between access to various forms of capital and the habitus. This study utilises survey responses from a sample of 972 childless men and women between 25 and 40 years of age, assessing measures of social support, cultural norms and economic resources in relation to participants’ preference to have or not to have children in the future. A multivariate nested logistic regression was conducted to explore the odds of identifying as voluntarily childless (VC) (not wanting or probably not wanting, to have children in the future) based on socio-demographic factors, as well as various measures of social, economic, cultural and symbolic capital. Findings indicate several variations in significant factors contributing to a preference to remain childfree. Measures of cultural capital, including gender ideologies and pronatalist ideologies, appeared to be the greatest predictors of childbearing habitus. These findings support research suggesting that VC adults are more egalitarian and less traditional in gender relations as well as pronatalist assumptions.

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Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-362-1

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Article

Marshall H. Medoff

The purpose of this paper is to empirically estimate the effect the costs of an abortion have on the supply of infants relinquished for adoption in the USA.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically estimate the effect the costs of an abortion have on the supply of infants relinquished for adoption in the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper, using pooled time‐series cross‐section state data, over the years 1982, 1992, and 2000, empirically estimates an adoption supply equation based on the rational choice economic model of fertility.

Findings

The empirical results find that increases in the price of an abortion and the enforcement of a Parental Involvement Law decrease the number of infants available for adoption in a state. States that do not fund Medicaid abortions do not have higher rates of infant relinquishment.

Research limitations/implications

One implication of the results in this paper is that to have an abortion or relinquish an infant for adoption are not considered to be substitutes by women with unwanted pregnancies and that for poor women with unwanted pregnancies either an abortion or raising an infant is preferable to relinquishing an infant for adoption. It would be of interest to see whether comparable results occur in other countries which have changed their abortion policies.

Originality/value

If the goal of society is to increase the number of adoptable infants, the conclusions reached in this paper suggest ways to accomplish this goal.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part

Mihaela Robila

Eastern Europe has been recognized as a region that has experienced major socio-political and economic changes in the last decades. The impact of these transitions on…

Abstract

Eastern Europe has been recognized as a region that has experienced major socio-political and economic changes in the last decades. The impact of these transitions on families and their functioning has also been significant. Although understanding of families in different cultures in the last years has considerably increased, little has been written on Eastern European families. This book fills the void in literature and provides a timely and comprehensive analysis of family issues in Eastern Europe. It brings together scholars from fourteen Eastern European countries. The authors explain family processes in that particular country focusing on the historic, social and economic contexts and the impact they have on families. The scholars also provide demographic information about families and discuss cultural traditions, marital and gender roles, parenting processes, family policy and programs within the society, and the state of research on family issues. The first chapter provides both an overview of family changes in Eastern Europe and an introduction to the subsequent chapters.

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Families in Eastern Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-116-3

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Book part

Yi-Ping Shih

By using ethnographic data and family interviews from eight families in Taipei, Taiwan, this paper aims to delineate how multigenerational families implement parents…

Abstract

By using ethnographic data and family interviews from eight families in Taipei, Taiwan, this paper aims to delineate how multigenerational families implement parents’ child-rearing values, and how these strategies vary by social class. The primary focus is the child’s mother and her relationship with other family members. I ask the following question: How does a mother in a three-generation family implement her ideal parenting values for her child while being encumbered by the constraints of her parents-in-law? Additionally, how does this intergenerational dynamic vary with family socioeconomic status? To conceptualize this process in such a complex context, I argue that we must understand parenting behaviors as acts of “doing family” and “intensive mothering.”

From 2008 to 2009, I conducted a pilot survey in two public elementary schools to recruit the parents of sixth-grade students. All eight cases of multigenerational families in this paper were selected randomly after being clustered by the parent’s highest education level and family income levels. This paper utilized the mothers’ interviews as the major source to analyze, while the interviews of other family members served as supplementary data.

Two cases, Mrs Lee and Mrs Su’s stories, were selected here to illustrate two distinctive approaches toward childrearing in multi-generational families. Results indicate that white-collar mothers in Taiwan hold the value of concerted cultivation and usually picture the concept of intensive mothering as their ideal image of parenthood. Yet, such an ideal and more westernized child-rearing philosophy often leads to tensions at home, particularly between the mother and the mother-in-law. Meanwhile, blue-collar mothers tend to collaborate with grandparents in sharing childcare responsibilities, and oftentimes experience friction over child discipline in terms of doing homework and material consumption.

Via this analysis of three-generation families in Taiwan, we are able to witness the struggle of contemporary motherhood in East Asia. This paper foregrounds the negotiations that these mothers undertake in defining ideal parenting and the ideal family. On the one hand, these mothers must encounter the new parenting culture, given that the cultural ideal of concerted cultivation has become a popular ideology. On the other hand, by playing the role of daughter-in-law, they must negotiate within the conventional, patriarchal family norms.

Details

Transitions into Parenthood: Examining the Complexities of Childrearing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-222-0

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Book part

Joel Stillerman

Recent discussions of how members of the middle classes define themselves have focused on cultural patterns, following Bourdieu's (1984) influential work on how…

Abstract

Recent discussions of how members of the middle classes define themselves have focused on cultural patterns, following Bourdieu's (1984) influential work on how occupational, educational, and cultural fields combine to configure classes. Researchers have extended this approach to studies of the emerging middle classes in the global South, adapting these concepts to the specific circumstances of postcolonial settings in a globalizing world. This chapter explores these processes among urban middle-class Chileans. I show how members of the middle classes seek meaningful identities while engaging in symbolic combat with other groups in a society historically marked by an aristocratic elite, a recent military dictatorship, and free market policies that have reconfigured the possibilities for upward and downward mobility while integrating Chile more firmly within global commodity and image circuits. The principal foci of conflict are cultural consumption, childrearing and education, as well as electronic media use. Members of Chile's middle classes are locked in an unresolved conflict over who they are, who they should be, and where they fit in the global cultural economy.

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Political Power and Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-326-3

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Book part

Douglas NeJaime

This chapter uncovers the destabilizing and transformative dimensions of a legal process commonly described as assimilation. Lawyers working on behalf of a marginalized…

Abstract

This chapter uncovers the destabilizing and transformative dimensions of a legal process commonly described as assimilation. Lawyers working on behalf of a marginalized group often argue that the group merits inclusion in dominant institutions, and they do so by casting the group as like the majority. Scholars have criticized claims of this kind for affirming the status quo and muting significant differences of the excluded group. Yet, this chapter shows how these claims may also disrupt the status quo, transform dominant institutions, and convert distinctive features of the excluded group into more widely shared legal norms. This dynamic is observed in the context of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, and specifically through attention to three phases of LGBT advocacy: (1) claims to parental recognition of unmarried same-sex parents, (2) claims to marriage, and (3) claims regarding the consequences of marriage for same-sex parents. The analysis shows how claims that appeared assimilationist – demanding inclusion in marriage and parenthood by arguing that same-sex couples are similarly situated to their different-sex counterparts – subtly challenged and reshaped legal norms governing parenthood, including marital parenthood. While this chapter focuses on LGBT claims, it uncovers a dynamic that may exist in other settings.

Details

Special Issue: Law and the Imagining of Difference
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-030-7

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