Family Commitment among Fast-Track Professionals in Sweden, 1991–2005. A Longitudinal Register-Based Study of How Continued Childbearing and Union Stability Vary Among Groups of High-Achieving Women and Men.
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) in Detroit, April 2009
This paper studies family commitment among fast-track professionals and explores how continued childbearing and union stability vary among high-achieving men and women. The focus is on three particular fast-track professional groups (e.g., lawyers, medical doctors and Ph.D.s), that face quite different career structures and work environments that may affect family life. The determinants of having a second or a third birth are analyzed multivariately using longitudinal data on couples from different population registers in Sweden, 1991–2005. Union dissolution is also considered, by a simultaneous analysis of the impact of the variables on having a birth and dissolving the partnership, using a multinomial logit model. The results indicate that career choice affects higher-order fertility: physicians are more likely to continue childbearing than the other two professional groups studied. Female physicians are also less likely to separate. Professional orientation affects family life in line with hypotheses about work-family conflicts that exist in different fields and how these can be mediated. One strategy for women is to find employment in the public sector. Another may be to find an equal and understanding partner. There is also the option of union dissolution, which is manifested in a highly gendered way. The results indicate that the couple context is very important as it reflects the relative power balance within the couple.
- Social Sciences
Population Association of America's annual meeting