Fertilität und Wohlbefinden

Auf einen Blick Projekte Publikationen Team


Psychological Factors and Family Formation Processes (Dissertation)

Steffen Peters (MPIDR / Stockholm University, Schweden), Kieron Barclay (MPIDR / Stockholm University, Schweden), Mikko Myrskylä; in Zusammenarbeit mit Gunnar Andersson (Stockholm University, Schweden)

Ausführliche Beschreibung

Family formation processes play an essential role in each individual’s life course. Individuals either experience transition into parenthood or remain childless; they get married, live in cohabitation, or stay single. The reasons for each family form vary between individuals and their preferences. Just as each family (and life) form may be shaped very individually, each individual combines certain personality traits, identity facets, and skills. Psychological factors thus may be crucial for fundamental life events. However, research on the association between psychological facets and family formation is relatively uncommon in demography.

This project examines the prospective power that psychological factors may have on different family formation processes (fertility, marriage, cohabitation, divorce). The aim is to provide a more precise picture of the psychological determinants of fertility and marital behavior. We therefore collected psychological measures before the event of interest (e.g., childbearing, marriage) in order to explore which traits are linked with subsequent family formation processes.

We use individual-level longitudinal data from three different countries. First, the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, the largest follow-up survey in Germany; it has been collecting information on personality factors since 2005. Second, Swedish administrative register data; these contain information on personality factors and leadership skills for males, taken from military conscription tests. Third, the Finnish Educational Transitions Studies; it includes information on identity over time. We use the three datasets to examine the prospective power of psychological factors on family formation outcomes in contemporary Germany, Sweden, and Finland.

Our statistical methods include Poisson regression, linear probability, and logistic regression models in order to analyze the effects of psychological factors measured at earlier waves on later family outcomes, such as parenthood by age 40. We also applied survival analyses such as Cox proportional hazard or piecewise-constant hazard models so that time-varying changes in psychological factors and other covariates (e.g., socioeconomic factors, civil status) could be captured.

Our results have shown that personality dimensions such as extraversion and social maturity are positively linked with subsequent fertility and marriage. Leadership skills in younger ages are positively associated with fertility among Swedish males. Next, we study the bidirectional association between personal identity and marriage among adolescents and young adults in Finland.


Familienverhalten, Geburtenentwicklung, Psychologie

Schlagworte (Region):

Deutschland, Finnland, Schweden


Peters, S.; Barclay, K. J.:
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2022-009. (2022)    
Das Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung (MPIDR) in Rostock ist eines der international führenden Zentren für Bevölkerungswissenschaft. Es gehört zur Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, einer der weltweit renommiertesten Forschungsgemeinschaften.