Socioeconomic Development and Changes in Life Values and Family Formation Attitudes

Li-Shou Yang, University of Michigan
Yu-Hsuan Lin, Bureau of Health Promotion, Taiwan

This study examines the trends of women’s life values and attitudes toward marriage and childbearing in an era of socioeconomic transformation. Based on the modernization theory, we test the hypothesis of the influence of socioeconomic development on cultural changes with emphasis on women’s life values, and an array of family formation attitudes including desired age at marriage, values of marriage, and preferences for the number and gender of children. Data from two cross-sectional Taiwan family and fertility surveys conducted in 1998 and 2005 are used to examine the ways in which social and economic developments intersect with the lives of individuals to shape life values and familial attitudes. The data demonstrate significant changes in some life values and family formation attitudes over time. Through regression analysis, we will evaluate if the results consistent with the modernization theory in showing importance of education, employment, media exposure, and urbanization for these changes.

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Presented in Poster Session 6