European Journal of Population

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 277–312 | Cite as

Does Migrant Background Matter for Adolescents’ Fertility Preferences? The Latin American 1.5 Generation in Spain

  • Elisabeth K. KrausEmail author
  • Teresa Castro-Martín


This article examines the fertility preferences of Latin American adolescents of the 1.5 generation and their native peers in Spain. We compare their expected age at first birth as well as their expected family size. The fertility preferences of the 1.5 generation are likely to reflect the family values of two different socialization environments as well as the adaptation process to the childbearing norms of the host society. The analysis is based on the Chances Survey, which collected data from 2700 adolescents in secondary schools in Madrid in 2011. Results indicate that fertility timing preferences of Latin American adolescents reflect socialization influences from the society of origin, but also a quick adaptation to the childbearing norms in the host society, since their expected age at first birth is somewhat earlier than that of their Spanish peers but considerably later than that prevailing in their country of origin. The degree of social integration, measured by the number of the respondent’s best friends who were Spanish, seems more important than age at migration for diminishing the gap between Latin Americans and Spaniards. Moreover, higher educational expectations are associated with preferences for postponed entry into parenthood. With regard to family size expectations, we find no significant variation between adolescents of migrant and native origin, confirming the argument that the “two-child norm” currently prevails in both middle- and high-income countries.


Adolescents Fertility preferences Child migrants 1.5 Generation Adaptation Socialization Spain 



The research leading to these results has received funding from CSIC, Juan March Institute and Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, under Grant Agreement CSO2012-35234, for the Chances Project “Aspirations, expectations and life-course orientations of immigrant and non-immigrant origin youth in Spain. The role of the social context and intergenerational conflict”, co-directed by Amparo González-Ferrer and Héctor Cebolla-Boado. Additional funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement 320116 for the research project FamiliesAndSocieties is also gratefully acknowledged. We are very grateful for the comments and support given by Amparo González-Ferrer and for the useful suggestions of anonymous reviewers.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political and Social SciencesUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography, Centre for Human and Social SciencesCSICMadridSpain

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