Fertility Intention Emergence, Persistence, and Process during Late Adolescence and Early Adulthood: Voluntary Childlessness as a Special Case

Jacinda K. Dariotis, Pennsylvania State University

This study examines adolescents' reports of how many children they expect to have in adulthood and compares adolescents across various categories to (1) determine whether adolescents expecting to have zero children differ from other adolescents who expect to have children in terms of educational and marital goals in addition to marital and parental family formation values; and (2) determine whether adolescents who report expecting to have no children typologically resemble willingly childless adults. This study provides an alternative perspective on adolescent expectant fertility to the traditionally studied teenage pregnancy and contributes to our knowledge about childlessness and its underlying processes in an understudied population of persons who will constitute an increasing proportion of adults foregoing parenthood.

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Presented in Session 131: Fertility Preferences