European Journal of Population

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 421–444 | Cite as

When is the Second One Coming? The Effect of Couple’s Subjective Well-Being Following the Onset of Parenthood



Parenthood has strong effects on people’s life. Some of these effects are positive and some negative and may influence the decision of having other children after the first. Demographic research has only marginally addressed the relationship between subjective well-being and fertility, and even less attention has been reserved to investigate how the subjective experience of the first parenthood may influence the decision to have a second child. Performing log-logistic hazard models using HILDA panel data (2001–2012), changes in couples’ objective life conditions and satisfaction within family and work domains after the first childbirth are related to the timing of the transition to the second parenthood. Results show that partners adopting traditional gender specialization in roles proceed quicker to the second child; however, experiencing dissatisfaction in reconciling, in the couple’s relationship and in the work domain negatively affects mothers’ probability of having a second child in the future.


Fertility Second child Life satisfaction Work–family reconciliation Hazard models 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the European Research Council under the European ERC Grant Agreement no StG-313617 (SWELL-FER: Subjective Well-being and Fertility, P.I. Letizia Mencarini).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DONDENA Centre for Research on Social DynamicsBocconi UniversityMilanItaly

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