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Essays on Family Dynamics: Partnering, Fertility and Divorce in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0347-3802
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Diversity in household and family structures poses interesting questions for scientific inquiry. What accounts for patterns of reproduction, partnering, household formation and household dissolution? This dissertation investigates facets of this question in the context of modern Sweden from a longitudinal and individual level perspective. It consists of three empirical studies using data from administrative registers and panel survey data. The first study begins with noting a rapid expansion in online education and analyzes whether this development leads to higher fertility in student populations. The second study asks whether individuals’ predispositions towards divorce change after exposure to the experience of parenthood, union formation and union dissolution. The third study builds on the literature on assortative mating and investigates what drives underlying preferences for this behavior. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University , 2019.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 102
Keywords [en]
Fertility, Divorce attitudes, Sweden, Educational Homogamy, Life Course, Family Dynamics
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-164767ISBN: 978-91-7797-522-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-523-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-164767DiVA, id: diva2:1280273
Public defence
2019-03-08, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens Hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-02-13 Created: 2019-01-18 Last updated: 2019-02-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Online Distance Education and Transition to Parenthood Among Female University Students in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Online Distance Education and Transition to Parenthood Among Female University Students in Sweden
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Population, ISSN 0168-6577, E-ISSN 1572-9885Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The expansion of tertiary education is key to understanding postponement of first births. Currently, online distance education is changing the nature of university enrolment. In this study, I suggest that online distance education impacts on fertility by facilitating the transition to parenthood among students. I examine the relationship between online distance education and first births during university enrolment. Using survival analysis of register data for the 1968–1991 female cohorts, I examine the impact of distance and campus education on first-parity transitions during university enrolment between 2004 and 2012 (N = 938,768). Results indicate that the negative association between enrolment and first parity conception differs substantially between campus and distance enrolment. Compared to non-enrolment, the hazard of first parity conception is 70% lower during campus enrolment but 43% lower during distance enrolment. These findings are discussed in relation to educational heterogeneity and fertility postponement and the impact of technological innovation on family dynamics.

Keywords
Technology, Fertility, Sweden, Education, Student fertility, Fertility postponement
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-164757 (URN)10.1007/s10680-018-9503-3 (DOI)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2012-1741
Available from: 2019-01-18 Created: 2019-01-18 Last updated: 2019-07-14
2. Gender, family life course and attitudes towards divorce in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender, family life course and attitudes towards divorce in Sweden
2016 (English)In: Acta Sociologica, ISSN 0001-6993, E-ISSN 1502-3869, Vol. 59, no 1, p. 51-67Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study investigates the impact of union formation, parenthood and union dissolution on Swedes’ attitudes toward divorce. The results, based on fixed-effects models of longitudinal data from the Young Adult Panel Study (YAPS), suggest a prevalent, albeit small, influence of family life-course events on attitudes toward divorce in Sweden. Attitudes toward divorce are studied using two survey statements: ‘It is too easy to get divorced in today’s Sweden’ (item A) and ‘Parents should stay together for the sake of their children’ (item B). For both items, union dissolution from parental relationships is associated with a decrease in intolerance toward divorce, but only for women. For men, but not for women, parental union formation increases intolerance toward divorce as measured by item B. The results are discussed in relation to the literature on gendered family life-course experiences.

Keywords
Divorce, life course, family attitudes, fixed effects, gender, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126589 (URN)10.1177/0001699315615639 (DOI)000369956500004 ()
Available from: 2016-02-08 Created: 2016-02-08 Last updated: 2019-01-21Bibliographically approved
3. Do the formative aspects of education really matter for educational assortative mating? Cues from a natural experiment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do the formative aspects of education really matter for educational assortative mating? Cues from a natural experiment
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Individuals tend to partner with people of a similar educational level as themselves. According to the matching hypothesis, exposure to education leads to similarity in taste and cultural cognitive schemas, causing educationally similar partners to form unions. In this study, I ask if such formative content of education matters for educational homogamy, net of other forces. Evaluating this claim is often difficult because educational level also beget human resources and because marriage markets are structured by educational level - aspects which also lead to educational homogamy. I approach this issue using a semi-experimental design that tentatively holds constant marriage markets and human capital related to education. Using a national reform, I compare the educational assortative mating of upper secondary vocational students who studied under a theoretical curriculum to that of vocational students not exposed to a theoretical curriculum. The reform provides variability in formative education. Yet, it induces no variation in competitive human capital and marriage markets, as students obtain comparable human capital within the same standard upper secondary track. Therefore, effects may be attributed to matching on formative content of the added theoretical curriculum. Before and after adjusting for selection, I find no effect of an added theoretical curriculum on partnering. The results are discussed in terms of the ambiguity of formative education as an explanation for educational assortative mating.

Keywords
Partnering, Educational Homogamy, Sweden
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-164760 (URN)
Available from: 2019-01-18 Created: 2019-01-18 Last updated: 2019-01-21Bibliographically approved

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