Diverse Paths into Childlessness over the Life Course

Monika Mynarska, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University
Anna Matysiak, Warsaw School of Economics
Anna Rybinska, Warsaw School of Economics
Valentina Tocchioni, University of Florence
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence

Childlessness is rarely an outcome of a single decision or can be attributed to one particular reason. Remaining childless should rather be seen as a process, influenced by continuously changing context and by many choices that individual makes in various life spheres over the life course. Previous studies focused on the effect of accumulated experience of life events on a probability to have no children. Such an approach does not allow for capturing a whole variety of different roads to childlessness that are postulated in the literature. Our paper aims at filling this gap by applying an exploratory approach of sequence analysis. We employ it on Polish and Italian data to reconstruct the major life course trajectories of childless women and to reveal the complexity of life paths leading to childlessness.

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Presented in Session 155: Methods and Models in Fertility Research