Transition to Parenthood: New Insights Into Socio-Psychological Costs of Childbearing

  • Mirjana Bobić Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade (Serbia)
Keywords: socio-psychological costs of childbearing, partnership, transformation of gender roles, Serbia, family policy

Abstract

The paper deals with socio-psychological costs of (first) childbearing, considering this as important hurdle for transition to higher parities, especially to second and third ones. In addition to the second demographic transition, new paradigms tackle micro aspects of parenthood thus highlighting individual and parental well-being/happiness and experiences around a first baby as preconditions for (next) childbearing along with work-, family-, leisure-, friendly policies. We used both the macro and micro theoretical perspectives in order to explore our research data. We deployed the complementary method: the survey (N=1560) among women in Serbia in 2017 which was the supplementary to previously conducted qualitative one (interviews with 30 couples in Belgrade) in 2013/4. On both occasions we dealt with the topic related to the process of transition from partnership to parenthood. Results have shown high socio-psychological costs of women/mothers and the asymmetry in gender roles at the start of childbearing. This is explained by persisting patriarchal ideology in both private and public sphere, which is even strengthened after the onset of social transition and demise of state socialism (repatriarchalization). Such behavioural pattern is not only incompatible with professional demands when it comes to women’s employment, but as such is also demonstrated to be a strong barrier for further childbearing. We propose policy measures that are directed towards stronger inclusion of men/fathers into private sphere (transformation of gender roles) from the very beginning of parenthood and around household, which should be combined with other family policies (work family reconciliation), social policies targeted to the increased employment, quality of life, etc.

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Published
2018-07-26
How to Cite
Bobić, M. (2018). Transition to Parenthood: New Insights Into Socio-Psychological Costs of Childbearing. Stanovništvo, 56(1), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.2298/STNV180403003B
Section
Articles