Lower childbearing intentions may be due to lack of actual and perceived social support

The study by Artamonova et al. used the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) from 2021-22 and register data to investigate how emotional and instrumental support from parents and other social network members, as well as the feeling that one’s own social network is sufficient, are related to childbearing intentions in Finland.

Perceiving social support as sufficient was measured as the absence of loneliness. The results show that instrumental support from parents and other relatives – especially financial support – is associated with higher childbearing intentions. Not experiencing loneliness is also associated with higher intentions, especially for 26–30-year-olds. Gender and partnership status nuance these associations.

The results suggest that social resources, in the form of both perceived and actual support, shape childbearing intentions among people at childbearing age. The lack of perceived social resources among young adults can contribute to relatively low fertility, even in a high-income country such as Finland, where family policies are generous.

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Artamonova, A. et al. 2024. Social Resources are Associated With Higher Fertility Intentions in Contemporary Finland. Comparative Population Studies. 49, (Apr. 2024). DOI:https://doi.org/10.12765/CPoS-2024-04.