Family and Parental Influence on Family Formation Among Taiwanese Young Adults

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Josef MA, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Chin-Chun YI, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Previous literature has well documented significant determinants of family formation, namely marriage and childbearing. However, most studies mainly examine the variations between individuals with respect to their gender, socioeconomic status, and gender role attitudes. Much less attention is given to the influence of earlier family experiences on young adults’ family behavior. The only exception is perhaps the effect of parental divorce on adult children’s intimate relations and family formation, especially in the West. This study will examine family formation in the transition to adulthood with special focus on effects of earlier family experiences between parents and children. Using the longitudinal panel data from Taiwan Youth Project (TYP) since the year 2000, we will analyze potential influence of parent-child relations during adolescence, parents’ educational expectation since adolescence and the actual fertility behavior of parents on young adults’ marriage and childbearing. Gender ideologies as well as traditional norms will also be explored of its possible impact in the process of young adults’ family formation.

Judging from the perspective of intergenerational transmission, it is hypothesized that positive parent-child relationship during adolescence is likely to result in positive attitudes toward family formation. But the actual marital and childbearing behavior will depend on other contingencies such as family resources and normative expectation. Specifically, parents with less traditional gender role attitudes and higher educational expectations tend to delay adult children’s age of first marriage and first childbirth. Growing up with more siblings at home and the endorsement of traditional norms may contribute to the timing of family formation. In addition, the association is expected to be stronger for daughters than sons, for working-class families than upper-class families, and weaker for young adults experiencing parental divorce during adolescence. The implication of different timing of family formation in the transition to adulthood in Taiwan will be discussed.