Volume 57, Part 1, 2003

Author: James C. Riley
Title: Did mothers begin with an advantage? A study of childbirth and maternal health in England and Wales, 1778-1929

This paper contributes to two ongoing debates among demographers. One deals with the immediate and deferred health effects of childbearing in the past, and the other with competing explanations--the frailty and insult accumulation hypotheses--for differences in individual health later in life.

The study population consists of working women who lived at four locales in England and Wales in parts of the period 1778-1929 and who were under observation for incapacitating sickness during and after their childbearing years. Mothers within the study population are contrasted with a comparison group made up principally of non-mothers. The mothers began their reproductive careers with an advantage in health that was especially evident in the duration of sickness episodes.

Even though individual births were less hazardous than individual sicknesses at the same ages, the cumulative effect of childbearing appears to have eroded the mothers' advantage. By ages 50-74 the mothers resembled the comparison group in health.

Keywords: Maternal Health, Childbirth, Insult Accumulation, Frailty, England and Wales, Friendly Societies
pp. 5-20

Authors: Kirsty McNay, Perianayagam Arokiasamy and Robert H. Cassen
Title: Why are uneducated women in India using contraception? A multilevel analysis

While women's education continues to be strongly associated with lower fertility in India, an important feature of India's current fertility transition is the spread of contraceptive use among uneducated women. Indeed, changes in their fertility are now making the major contribution to the country's overall fertility decline. We use multilevel statistical procedures to investigate the variation in contraceptive use among uneducated women across India.

The analysis suggests that, while many of the expected socio-economic variables play their part, there are also considerable diffusion effects in progress, many of which operate at levels beyond the uneducated women's own individual circumstances. For example, we find significant relationships with others' use of contraception and others' education.

Mass media exposure also emerges as an important diffusion channel. The multilevel analysis also reveals significant clustering of contraceptive use at different levels, much of which is accounted for by the variables included in the models.

Keywords: Contraceptive usage, Diffusion, Fertility, India, Multilevel, Uneducated
pp. 21-40

Author: Michel Guillot
Title: The cross-sectional average length of life (CAL): A cross-sectional mortality measure that reflects the experience of cohorts

This paper presents a summary mortality index, the cross-sectional average length of life (CAL). By combining the mortality experience of various cohorts in a cross-sectional fashion, CAL complements traditional one-period or one-cohort indexes and enriches our understanding of population processes. First, CAL provides an alternative insight into the analysis of mortality.

By taking into account the real mortality conditions to which individuals in a population have been subject, it tends to yield less favourable mortality levels than e&sub0; and produces different rankings of mortality levels across countries. Second, CAL is a relevant index for the study of population dynamics. In particular, change in CAL over time shows the direct impact of mortality change on population growth, and the e&sub0;/CAL ratio for a given year shows the mortality-induced growth that can be expected given current mortality levels.

It illustrates that mortality can play a non-negligible role in future population growth, even in the absence of future mortality improvements.

Keywords: Mortality Measurement, Cohort Analysis, Period Analysis, Length of Life, Life Expectancy, Population Dynamics, Population Growth, Population Momentum
pp. 41-54                                                                           

Author: Jan Van Bavel
Title: Does an effect of marriage duration on pre-fertility transition signal parity-dependent control? An empirical test in nineteenth-century Leuven, Belgium

t has been demonstrated for many pre-industrial populations that the age at marriage, or marriage duration, influences age-specific marital fertility but the reason for this remains unclear.

Among the several mechanisms that may be responsible, the following are often cited: secondary sterility or increased subfecundity associated with parity; declining coital frequency; the age difference between the spouses; and, importantly, parity-dependent fertility control. If the latter mechanism were partly responsible for the marriage-duration effect in pre-transition populations, it would contradict the concept of the modern fertility transition as the evolution (or revolution) from parity-independent to parity-dependent fertility. The study presented in this paper investigates the relative importance of these alternative explanations.

The application of multivariate Poisson regression to the fertility data from two birth cohorts in the Belgian city of Leuven shows that a linearly declining or even concave age-specific fertility pattern, disaggregated by age at marriage, does not imply parity-dependent fertility limitation.

Keywords: Fertility Control, Natural Fertility, Marriage Duration, Coital Frequency, Demographic Transition, Western Europe, Belgium, Historical Demography
pp. 55-62

Authors: David Sven Reher and Fernando González-Quiñones
Title: Do parents really matter? Child health and development in Spain during the demographic transition.

Linked life histories of children and of their parents living in Aranjuez (Spain) between 1870 and 1950 are used to assess the health and well-being of children in terms of the survival status of their parents. The loss of a mother leads to dramatic increases in the mortality of young children, especially during the first 2 years of life, while the loss of a father has a rather limited negative impact. Over time the relative importance of the loss of a mother increases sharply, thus affording strong, albeit indirect, evidence of their role for mortality reduction during the demographic transition. Heights of military conscripts are used to assess other elements of health unrelated to survival. Results suggest that orphans were noticeably shorter than non-orphans. Over time this effect diminishes thanks to increasingly effective public assistance for orphans.

Keywords: Infant Nutrition, Cause of Death, Child Development, Infant Mortality, Mortality Decline, Child Health, Mothers, Body Height, Orphans, Spain
pp. 63-75

Authors: Cicely Marston and John Cleland
Title: Do unintended pregnancies carried to term lead to adverse outcomes for mother and child? An assessment in five developing countries

This paper investigates whether children later reported as having been unwanted or mistimed at conception will, when compared with children reported as wanted, show adverse effects when the following criteria are applied: receipt of antenatal care before the sixth month of gestation, supervised delivery, full vaccination of the child, and child growth (stunting).

The study uses data from five recent Demographic and Health Survey enquiries in Bolivia, Egypt, Kenya, Peru, and the Philippines. In Peru, children unwanted at conception were found to have significantly worse outcomes than other children, but in the other countries, a systematic effect was found only for receipt of antenatal care. Weak measurement of the complex concept of wantedness may have contributed to these results.

Birth order of the child, with which wantedness is inextricably linked, has more powerful and pervasive effects, with first-born and second-born children being much less likely to show adverse effects.

Keywords: Unwanted pregnancy, Antenatal Care, Delivery Care, Immunisation, Stunting, Bolivia, Egypt, Kenya, Peru, Philippines . 
pp. 77-93

Authors: Shuzhuo Li, Marcus W. Feldman and Xiaoyi Jin
Title: Marriage form and family division in three villages in rural China

This paper presents a study of the influence of children's marriage form and other characteristics on whether married couples in three villages in rural China establish a family separate from the joint family of their natal kin. The results reveal that, for children with a brother, sons in virilocal marriages are more likely than daughters in uxorilocal marriages to establish a family separate from that of their parents and do so earlier than these daughters. However, among children without a brother, sons and daughters do not differ significantly in whether or when they divide off from their extended family and set up a new family. The majority of family division occurs in the first 5 years after marriage for sons and daughters. Number of siblings and other characteristics also affect the likelihood of family division. We discuss demographic, socio-economic, and cultural causes underlying this phenomenon as well as its social implications.

Keywords: Family Research, Marriage Patterns, Sons, Daughters, Rural China, Family Division, Uxorilocal Marriage, Virilocal Marriage
pp. 95-108