Which Men Remain Childless?: The Effects of Early Lifecourse, Family Formation, Working Life and Attitudinal Variables

Nick Parr, Macquarie University

This paper examines later life childlessness among males in Australia. The data are from 1,610 males aged 45-59 interviewed for Wave 1 of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, a large-scale, nationwide, longitudinal survey of the household population of Australia conducted in 2001. Staged logistic regression models were used to identify the early lifecourse antecedents and later lifecourse correlates of a man being childless in later life. The results show that the father’s and mother’s occupations, the type of schooling and birthplace are important early lifecourse variables predictors of whether a man is childless in later life. Nuptiality and occupational variables are strong later life predictors of whether a man is childless. The importance of attitudinal variables, particularly attitudes towards family, work, money, leisure, health, and community, as predictors of his childlessness is highlighted. The implications of the findings for Australia’s public debate are discussed.

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Presented in Session 163: Transition into Fatherhood