The decision of having children or not depends on many factors. One of them clearly is the fertility behavior of other members of the population, particularly of social networks. Laura Bernardi (University of Lausanne, Switzerland) and Andreas Klaerner (University of Rostock) took a deeper look and therefore added a social network perspective on fertility and family research.
By reviewing the literature that addresses the extent to which social mechanisms, such as social learning, social pressure, social contagion, and social support, influence childbearing decisions, they found that all of these mechanisms influence the beliefs and norms individuals hold regarding childbearing.
Their perceptions of having children, and the context of opportunities and constraints in which childbearing choices are made. Accordingly fertility tempo and quantum strongly depends on the structure of social interaction.
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