Intergenerational Transmission of Family Formation: Socio-Economic Differentials in the Timing of Marriage and Childbearing Among Young Taiwanese Adults

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:30 AM
Room: 419
Oral Presentation
Yu-Hua CHEN , National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Yi-Jie CHEN , Department of Bio-Industry Communication and Development, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Wan-Hsien CHUO , National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Chiao-Jou LIN , National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Previous studies on marriage and family have consistently explored the familial and parental influences on the development of adolescent sexuality, mate selection, union formation, and eventual childbearing, either through family tradition or socio-economic consideration. In recent decades, since demographic and economic trends have been increasing social class disparities in children’s access to resources internally and externally, the pathways of transition to adulthood have become more diverse and less predictable in Taiwanese society. Besides, the prolonged education and employment processes have significantly delayed the timing of family formation among young Taiwanese adults. This paper aims to explore the implications of increasing social and economic inequality for young people’s adoption of adult roles, with main focuses on two life events including the timing of first marriage and following childbearing. Data are taken from the Taiwan Youth Project, which is a longitudinal panel study of 2696 students in junior and senior high schools since the year 2000. Since part of respondents has been married, it is an adequate timing to analyze their disparity on sexual attitudes and mate selection practices and major trends in the timing of entry into first marriage. We also compare the tendency for young adults from different social and economic backgrounds to choose partners of specific characteristics, and childbearing intentions and outcomes. Based on these results, we are able to examine the relative effect of perceived parental influence on their adult children’s mate selection, union formation, and reproductive behavior in contemporary Taiwanese society.