The Importance of Social Context in the Formation of Teenagers' Value of Children: Social Class and Rural Urban Differences in Taiwan

Chin-Chun Yi, Academia Sinica

This paper examines how teenagers' values may be shaped by the immediate social context with special reference to social class and rural urban background. The locus of study is Taiwan, a society with drastic declining birth rates in recent years. It is hypothesized that teenagers’ fertility values of having children (or positive values) and not having children (or negative values) are accounted for by the individual, familial and social contextual factors. Data are taken from an island-wide sample of first year senior high students. Field survey was administered from winter of 2005 to early spring of 2006. The analysis shows that three dimensions can be extracted, with emotional values the most important, followed by physical and social values. Results also indicate that social contextual factors and individual factors contribute to the formation of positive VOC among Taiwanese teenagers. The importance of social context is thus supported.

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Presented in Session 96: Ideational Factors in Fertility Behavior and Change