Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lori Hunter

Second Advisor

Jason Boardman

Third Advisor

Stephanie Mollborn


Previous research on intergenerational transmission of fertility has focused on developed nations, and has observed that origin family size is often associated with fertility intentions. However, these associations have not been examined in developing, high fertility countries such as Nigeria, even though intergenerational transmission of fertility is likely to unfold differently. Thus, the current study focuses on women of childbearing age (15-49) in Nigeria and examines how origin family size is associated with preferred family size. Such work is important because in Nigeria family size preferences not only affect population growth, but also have direct consequences for social and economic development. Using data from the 2013 Demographic and Health Survey, the findings indicate that origin family size is positively linked with ideal number of children, and the relationship does not change when controlling for socio-demographic characteristics such as education, household wealth, marital status, religion, and ethnicity. Future research should examine other variables that could affect the relationship between the family of origin size and ideal number of children, and should be replicated in other higher fertility regions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Included in

Sociology Commons