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Timing of abortions, births, and union dissolutions in Finland

Timing of abortions, births, and union dissolutions in Finland
Timing of abortions, births, and union dissolutions in Finland
Background: People make fertility decisions within the wider context of their lives. Previous studies have shown that there are factors that drive both relationship transitions and childbearing decisions. However, there is a lack of research on whether these factors also drive abortion decisions and decisions to end a romantic relationship, and whether their effect depends on being in a cohabitating or marital union.

Objective: To study whether the factors that influence relationship transitions and childbearing decisions are also associated with abortion decision-making.

Methods: I analysed nationally representative register data of Finnish women born in 1965–1969 (N=17,666) using multi-level multi-process event history models.

Results: Women’s unobserved characteristics affected union dissolution, abortion, and childbearing decisions: Women with a tendency towards unstable relationships were more likely to have an abortion and less likely to give birth. The observed likelihood of abortion was lower for married than cohabiting women in the early years of a relationship, but became similar over time.

Conclusions: Characteristics such as personality and religiosity may partly explain these results. In line with previous research on other union characteristics, the likelihood of abortion in long-term cohabitation becomes similar to marriage over time.

Contribution: This study is the first to jointly estimate these three decision-making processes using reliable longitudinal data.
889-916
Vaisanen, Heini
ee5b9497-7825-4fd8-8b7e-3d5d2b164766
Vaisanen, Heini
ee5b9497-7825-4fd8-8b7e-3d5d2b164766

Vaisanen, Heini (2017) Timing of abortions, births, and union dissolutions in Finland. Demographic Research, 37 (28), 889-916. (doi:10.4054/DemRes.2017.37.28).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: People make fertility decisions within the wider context of their lives. Previous studies have shown that there are factors that drive both relationship transitions and childbearing decisions. However, there is a lack of research on whether these factors also drive abortion decisions and decisions to end a romantic relationship, and whether their effect depends on being in a cohabitating or marital union.

Objective: To study whether the factors that influence relationship transitions and childbearing decisions are also associated with abortion decision-making.

Methods: I analysed nationally representative register data of Finnish women born in 1965–1969 (N=17,666) using multi-level multi-process event history models.

Results: Women’s unobserved characteristics affected union dissolution, abortion, and childbearing decisions: Women with a tendency towards unstable relationships were more likely to have an abortion and less likely to give birth. The observed likelihood of abortion was lower for married than cohabiting women in the early years of a relationship, but became similar over time.

Conclusions: Characteristics such as personality and religiosity may partly explain these results. In line with previous research on other union characteristics, the likelihood of abortion in long-term cohabitation becomes similar to marriage over time.

Contribution: This study is the first to jointly estimate these three decision-making processes using reliable longitudinal data.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 August 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 October 2017
Published date: 5 October 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413030
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413030
PURE UUID: 80952dbc-cf10-457b-a379-cf45227ae673
ORCID for Heini Vaisanen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5494-0415

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Aug 2017 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 05:58

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