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THE PREFERENCE FOR AN ADDITIONAL CHILD AMONG MARRIED WOMEN IN SEOUL, KOREA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2008

SANG MI PARK
Affiliation:
School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
SUNG IL CHO
Affiliation:
School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
SOONG NANG JANG
Affiliation:
School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
YOUNG TAE CHO
Affiliation:
School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
HAI WON CHUNG
Affiliation:
School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Summary

South Korea reported a total fertility rate (TFR) of 1·08 in 2005. This is the lowest level of all nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Recently, the decline in the fertility rate has been a dominant phenomenon in Korea’s major cities. This study investigated the relationship between social environmental factors and fertility intentions for married women in Seoul, the capital of Korea, using a sample of 2211 married women who responded to the Seoul Citizens Health and Social Indicators Survey, 2005. Here, the effects of selected social environmental characteristics on fertility intentions are explored using multivariate logistic regression models. The relationships among a woman’s age, number of living children, job type, housing type, and social group participation were strong indicators of the intention to have additional children. Younger women living with fewer children generally have a higher intention to have additional children. Among women’s job types, blue-collar workers have a lower preference for additional children than white-collar workers and housewives. Married women participating in social groups have a lower preference for additional children than non-participants. Women’s participation in social activities appears to have various benefits, both individually and socially. However, whereas women’s participation in economic activities has been linked to questions of fertility in previous studies, the relationship between fertility and social activities has been downplayed. Women’s participation in social activities has increased over the past several decades, and the trend continues to grow. Therefore, women’s participation in social activities must be accepted as the status quo, and compatibility between women’s participation in social activities and childrearing needs to be increased. Consequently, a strong foundation for a fertility-friendly environment is needed, focusing on blue-collar workers and participation in social activities by married women.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

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