Does the Union Status Matter? Childbearing in Stepfamilies across European Countries: A Descriptive Analysis

Paulina Galezewska, University of Southampton

This study examines the effect of a previous and a current union status of mothers on their childbearing in a new partnership. Whereas a lot of studies exist on fertility of re-partnered divorced women, less is known about childbearing after a non-marital union dissolution. This paper intends to fill this gap and provides a first insight into the overall union effect on stepfamily childbearing. For the multivariate statistical analyses a unique database “Harmonized Histories” containing a numerous European countries is used. Our findings indicate similar patterns and magnitudes of the analyzed effects across Europe: (i) the type of a current partnership has a much stronger effect on stepfamily fertility than that of a previous relationship, and (ii) mothers cohabiting in the new union are less likely to have an additional child than their (re-)married counterparts. Our results vary, however, across the continent calling for more country-specific case studies.

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Presented in Poster Session 1