Bearing the Cost? Mother’s Survival in Later Life in the Netherlands and Sweden

Ingrid van Dijk, Lund University

Health and fertility are interrelated across human populations but the origin of this relationship remain heavily disputed in the literature. Diverging results in the literature can be attributed to a large diversity in study populations and chosen approaches, as well as the complexity of the mechanisms linking fertility and mortality together, that do not all support a homogenous relation between fertility and health. I propose to revisit the issue of the interrelation between fertility and health focusing on women’s access to kinship networks in adulthood. Post-reproductive survival of women can greatly be affected by access to children, siblings, spouses and other relatives, who can assist ageing women with resources and care. The number of children is strongly related to the size and strength of the kinship network in old age. Women with larger networks are compared to women without such resources, and distance to relatives is taken into account. Women's life courses are studied for historical The Netherlands and Sweden.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 183. Roles of Kinship: Demographic Outcomes and Methodology