Difficulties of balancing work and family as a factor decreasing the birth rate in Estonia according to Aijzen’s planned behavior theory model


Mare Ainsaar

The article analyses the impact of the dif- culties in balancing work and family on the plan to have children in Estonia. The theoretical framework is Aijzen’s planned behavior theory and the data were derived from the survey “Factors Influencing the Birth Rate in Estonia”, administered among people of 20-40 years of age in 2008.

The results of the behavioral model demonstrated that the plan of having children was associated with attitudes and perceived behavioral control, but there was no association with norms and values. The use of the structural model made it possible to analyse the pattern of the plans of having children more sensitively than the usual regression models. The study showed that people who live with a partner and have more positive attitudes towards having children have more rm plans of having child- ren. Di culties in work-family balance do influence the birth rate, but in a uni ed complex with other problems. The article describes the spread of problems associated with work-family balance that a ect the birth rate among different social groups: men, women, employed, unemp- loyed, different ethnicities, people with and without children, groups with different value orientations.

30% of people surveyed who are delaying childbirth noted that the plan of having a child is generally associated with work-family balance and 38% were worried about the shor- tage of child-care facilities. For 20-22% of the respondents the problem was a gap or interruption in their career. This was mentioned more frequently by employed people, women and those who did not have children yet. 11% were afraid that the parents of small children are poorly treated in the workplace, 4% believed that their employer would not like the birth of a child. In comparison with 1999, in 2008 there was a signi cant decrease in the concern about the discrimination of the parents of small child- ren in the workplace and the obstacles set by employers.