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      Preconditions to parenthood: changes over time and generations

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          Abstract

          Reproductive decision-making and fertility patterns change with time and place, and are influenced by contemporary societal factors. In this paper, we have studied biosocial aspects of reproductive decision-making over time and generations in a Nordic setting. The aim was to explore intergenerational changes and influences on decision-making, especially regarding preconditions to first birth. Twenty-six focus group interviews were conducted in southern Sweden, including a total of 110 participants aged 17–90 years. The analysis of the interviews resulted in six themes: (i) ‘Providing security – an intergenerational precondition’; (ii) ‘A growing smorgasbord of choices and requirements’; (iii) ‘Parenthood becoming a project’; (iv) ‘Stretched out life stages’; (v) ‘(Im)possibilities to procreate’; and (vi) ‘Intergenerational pronatalism’. Our findings reflect increasing expectations on what it means to be prepared for parenthood. Despite increasing awareness of the precariousness of romantic relationships, people still wish to build new families but try to be as prepared as possible for adverse events. The findings also show how increasing life expectancy and medical advancements have come to influence people’s views on their reproductive timeline.

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          Using thematic analysis in psychology

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            Why do people postpone parenthood? Reasons and social policy incentives.

            Never before have parents in most Western societies had their first children as late as in recent decades. What are the central reasons for postponement? What is known about the link between the delay of childbearing and social policy incentives to counter these trends? This review engages in a systematic analysis of existing evidence to extract the maximum amount of knowledge about the reasons for birth postponement and the effectiveness of social policy incentives. The review followed the PRISMA procedure, with literature searches conducted in relevant demographic, social science and medical science databases (SocINDEX, Econlit, PopLine, Medline) and located via other sources. The search focused on subjects related to childbearing behaviour, postponement and family policies. National, international and individual-level data sources were also used to present summary statistics. There is clear empirical evidence of the postponement of the first child. Central reasons are the rise of effective contraception, increases in women's education and labour market participation, value changes, gender equity, partnership changes, housing conditions, economic uncertainty and the absence of supportive family policies. Evidence shows that some social policies can be effective in countering postponement. The postponement of first births has implications on the ability of women to conceive and parents to produce additional offspring. Massive postponement is attributed to the clash between the optimal biological period for women to have children with obtaining additional education and building a career. A growing body of literature shows that female employment and childrearing can be combined when the reduction in work-family conflict is facilitated by policy intervention.
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              Parenthood, information and support on the internet. A literature review of research on parents and professionals online

              Background The aim of this article was to address questions on how parents use the internet to find information and support regarding children, health and family life. Another aim was to find out how professionals use the internet to provide support and information to parents. This was done by a literature review. Methods Articles were searched for in five databases with a search strategy called "building block" approach. Results The review showed that the majority of today's parents search for both information and social support on the internet. However, there are considerable differences due to gender, age and socio-economic differences. First time middle class mothers aged 30–35 are most active in looking up health and parent information on the internet. In the same time, several studies report diminishing class differences on parent web sites. An important reason to the increasing number of parents who turn to the internet for information and interaction has shown to be the weakened support many of today's parents experience from their own parents, relatives and friends. Professionals have recognized the parents' great interest for going online and offer both information and support on the net. Conclusion Many benefits are reported, for example the possibility to reach out to a wider audience and to increase access to organisations without an increase in costs. Other benefits include the possibility for parents to remain anonymous in their contacts with professionals and that parents' perceived need for information can be effectively met around the clock. Interventions for wider groups of parents, such as parent training on the net, are still very rare and more research is needed to evaluate different types of interventions on the net. However, most studies were empirical and lacked theoretical frameworks which leave questions on how we can more fully understand this phenomenon unanswered.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Reprod Biomed Soc Online
                Reprod Biomed Soc Online
                Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online
                Elsevier
                2405-6618
                14 May 2021
                August 2021
                14 May 2021
                : 13
                : 14-23
                Affiliations
                [a ]Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies, Malmö University, Sweden
                [b ]Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
                [c ]Fertility Clinic, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. maja.bodin@ 123456mau.se
                Article
                S2405-6618(21)00007-1
                10.1016/j.rbms.2021.03.003
                8178081
                34136667
                f726f4cd-c04d-440a-8f61-a90093696d53
                © 2021 The Author(s)

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                History
                : 9 November 2020
                : 16 March 2021
                : 24 March 2021
                Categories
                Original Article

                fertility,focus group discussions,generations,reproductive decision-making

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