Becoming a Parent in East Germany in the 1990's. An Event-History Analysis of the Transition to Motherhood and Fatherhood with Psychological Covariates

Holger R. von der Lippe, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

This paper presents results from a recently conducted dissertation study on the psychological determinants of fertility differentials in East Germany in the 1990s. We test the power of psychological covariates in an event-history model of first birth intensities and examine their impact against other groups of covariates. In order to structure our investigation and to relate it to current theory and research in fertility studies, we draw on a recent theoretical framework for fertility by de Bruijn (1999). Results convincingly show that psychological covariates (wishes and fears, coping-styles) do matter as explaining factors of the transition to parenthood in multi-covariate models. We find evidence that it is justified to grant a central place to people's personal considerations in an integrative macro-micro-model of fertility. A crucial point of our discussion deals with the strong sex-differentials in our results and we discuss them as indications of particular gender relations in East Germany.

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Presented in Session 130: Methodological Issues in Fertility Research