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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Childbearing and first birth in Scotland
Authors: Ralston, Kevin
Supervisor(s): Lambert, Paul
Gayle, Vernon
Keywords: fertility
Issue Date: May-2012
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis examines childbearing and first birth in Scotland. A description of empirical patterns and trends in childbearing and first birth in Scotland is given. Unique and appropriate analyses of data sources are presented. This includes analysis of the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) and Scottish Social Attitudes Survey: Fertility Module (SSAS). The thesis clearly demonstrates the relationship between social stratification and childbearing within Scotland. This is apparent longitudinally, examining timings of first birth using the SLS, and in cross-sectional data using the SSAS, and comparing childbearing ideals and intentions with achieved numbers of children. The evidence suggests inequalities at play on parenthood. Those relatively less advantaged on measures of social stratification, for instance using data on occupations or educational attainment can be observed as starting families earlier than those more educationally or occupationally advantaged. Whether, and how, standard measures of geography relate to fertility outcomes is examined across several chapters and findings suggest that they offer some explanation relating to individual processes of first birth. A latent class approach is outlined which shows that economic theories of fertility can be reconciled with attitudinal indicators of opportunity cost and financial constraint. A distinctive theoretical position is also taken which culminates in the exposition of the position that childbearing can be usefully conceptualised in terms of a threshold effect.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Applied Social Science

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