Are you ready for a child? Mixing methods to understand fertility intentions

Isabella Buber-Ennser, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Katrin Fliegenschnee, Vienna Institute of Demography

Combining qualitative and quantitative methods and using a mixed method approach is rarely done in demography. The current paper aims to better understand the concept of fertility intentions with regard to family formation. During problem-centred interviews with childless men and women, not only economic circumstances but also the issue of feeling ready was argued as being crucial for the decision to have a child. Based on these qualitative results, additional questions were included in the Austrian “Generations and Gender Survey” (GGS) which allow to analyse the dimension of being ready also quantitatively in a national representative dataset. Our quantitative results revealed that the feeling of being ready has additional explanatory power for childbearing intentions among childless men and women in Austria.

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Presented in Session 80: Realisation of fertility intentions