Jennings, Elyse A., and Jennifer S. Barber. 2013. “The Influence of Neighbors’ Family Size Preference on Progression to High Parity Births in Rural Nepal.” Studies in Family Planning 44(1):67-84.
Large families can have a negative impact on the health and well-being of women, children, and their communities. Seventy-three percent of the individuals in our rural Nepalese sample report that two children is their ideal number, yet about half of the married women continue childbearing after their second child. Using longitudinal data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study, we explore the influence of women’s and neighbors’ family size preferences on women’s progression to high parity births, comparing this influence across two cohorts. We find that neighbors’ family size preferences influence women’s fertility, that older cohorts of women are more influenced by their neighbors’ preferences than are younger cohorts of women, and that the influence of neighbors’ preferences is independent of women’s own preferences.