From fertility intentions to realizations. Implementing theory of planned behavior with graphical models

Letizia Mencarini, University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence
Anna Gottard, Department of Statistics "G. Parenti"

Our paper studies fertility intentions and their realization. We derive the theoretical model from the social psychological model of Theory Planned Behavior (TPB), and test its validity in a low fertility context (i.e. Italy). We move beyond existing research and use the theory of graphical models to have a precise understanding and a formal description of the developmental process of the fertility-making process, by representing possible dependencies among all the variables of a multivariate distribution with a chain graph. Overall our analysis strongly supports the validity of TPB for the Italian context and, therefore, provides an input to the systematic study of fertility decision-making processes. However, our analysis also gives some chandelling evidence that partly complicates the application of TPB to fertility research, especially as regards the role of background factors.

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Presented in Session 80: Realisation of fertility intentions