Quotation Rosina, Alessandro, Testa, Maria Rita. 2009. Couples’ first child intentions and disagreement: An analysis of the Italian case. European Journal of Population 25 (4): S. 487-502.




The aim of this article is to examine the determinants of couples’ childbearing intentions, by explicitly taking into account the agreement or disagreement of the two members of the couple. The relevance of the partner’s reproductive intentions has been well recognised in the literature, but few studies have provided in-depth analyses of the fertility plans of both partners. In our study, we used the household-level data from a survey on “Family and Social Subjects”, carried out by the Italian National Statistical Office in 2003, which provides characteristics on both partners. We adopted a couple’s perspective which allows us to give a unitary picture of the concordant or discordant nature of partners’ first child intentions. We found that a lack of agreement in the reproductive decision-making process is likely to occur in the Italian couples where the role of the woman is less traditional. In particular, cohabitant, highly educated and working women are more likely to be in disagreement with their partners in the decisions concerning having a first child. Being religious may be also a source of discordance in the couples’ reproductive plans. Our findings support the utility of taking a couple-based approach in studies on fertility intentions.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal European Journal of Population
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Couples’ first child intentions and disagreement: An analysis of the Italian case
Volume 25
Number 4
Year 2009
Page from 487
Page to 502
Reviewed? Y
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10680-009-9188-8


Testa, Maria Rita (Former researcher)
Rosina, Alessandro (Catholic University of Milan, Italy)
Demography Group AB (Details)
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