Get access

Are Difficulties Balancing Work and Family Associated With Subsequent Fertility?

Authors


  • Human Development and Family Studies, 118 South Henderson Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.

Human Development and Family Studies, 110 South Henderson, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (szl143@psu.edu).

Abstract

Despite considerable interest in the causes and consequences of work-family conflict, and the frequent suggestion in fertility research that difficulty in balancing work and family is one of the factors leading to low fertility rates in several developed countries, little research uses longitudinal data to examine whether women who report difficulty in balancing their work and family roles go on to have fewer subsequent births. This article uses longitudinal data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care (N = 809) to examine whether difficulties in balancing work and family are associated with fewer subsequent births. Our results provide little support for the idea that working women in the United States who have difficulty in balancing work and family delay or forgo having additional children. Instead, women in the United States may achieve their fertility goals at the expense of continued labor force participation.

Ancillary