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Effects of Childbearing on Quality of Women’s Lives


Borja, Judith B.; Adair, Linda S.; & Bisgrove, Eilene Z. (1997). Effects of Childbearing on Quality of Women's Lives. (pp. 681-698). Liege, Belgium: International Union for the Scientific Study of Population [IUSSP].


The authors use data from the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey to examine the relationship between fertility and the quality of women's lives in the Philippines. The data concern some 2,400 women originally surveyed in 1983-1984 and followed up in 1991. The survey includes information on reproductive histories, household characteristics, maternal nutritional status, child well-being, and women's labor force participation and earnings. "We found strong and consistent effects of childbearing on a number of different aspects of the quality of women's lives. There is a direct negative association of each additional surviving child born during an 8-year interval, on changes in measures of material goods, labour saving conveniences, maternal nutritional status, and child well being over that same interval. The improvements occur concomitant to increased earnings among working women, suggesting that women's own earnings make substantial contributions to the quality of life.... This research provides a strong rationale for family planning as a means to improve women's health and well being." (EXCERPT)


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Borja, Judith B.
Adair, Linda S.
Bisgrove, Eilene Z.