The Time Dynamics of Individual Fertility Preferences Among Rural Ghanaian Women
Article first published online: 5 MAR 2010
© 2010 The Population Council, Inc.
Studies in Family Planning
Volume 41, Issue 1, pages 45–54, March 2010
How to Cite
Kodzi, I. A., Casterline, J. B. and Aglobitse, P. (2010), The Time Dynamics of Individual Fertility Preferences Among Rural Ghanaian Women. Studies in Family Planning, 41: 45–54. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2010.00223.x
- Issue published online: 5 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 5 MAR 2010
Fertility preferences are revised in the light of changing life and reproductive circumstances. Over time, an individual's fertility preferences may fluctuate along a continuum. In this study, we describe typical patterns of change (or stability) in individual fertility preferences over a period of five years using a prospective panel study of women of reproductive age in six communities in southern Ghana. We investigate whether patterns of change are consistent with women's reproductive life circumstances by first comparing responses between successive interviews and then over multiple interviews using latent class analysis. We find that approximately 20 percent of the sample changed their fertility preference from one interview to the next. Women who had attained or exceeded their ideal family size show considerable stability in their desire to stop childbearing over multiple interviews. This desire does not waver even when they experience unwanted pregnancies. The attainment of ideal family size appears to be an important correlate of preference stability.