저출산 및 인구고령화 대응 연구 : 저출산 사회의 결혼ㆍ자녀양육과 가족생활 연구
Marriage, Child-Rearing and
Family Life in a Low Fertility Society
김두섭; 차승은; 송유진; 천희란; 김정석
▣ 주요연구내용 - 한국처럼 초저출산 단계에 진입한 다른 국가들의 가족생활 실태와 그들의 정책적 대응방안 제시 - 출산을 장려하기 위해 그 동안 시행된 정책기초와 다양한 사회문화적 요인들, 특히 가족환경, 가족문화와 관련성을 분석한 연구논문들과 정책보고서들을 검토
Korea has experienced a drastic decrease in fertility in recent years. To better understand the causal mechanisms of fertility decline, many previous studies have focused on economic aspects related to childbirth and child-rearing. However, socio-cultural factors, such as values and attitudes toward marriage and fertility, perception of costs and benefits of having a child, and women's struggles to balance work and child-care, are also of great importance in explaining recent fertility decline. The main purpose of this study is to explore the socio-cultural factors related to recent decline in fertility. This study focuses on analyzing recent changes in attitudes toward marriage, parenthood, and family. Attention is also focused on analyzing everyday family life and child-rearing behaviors. In an effort to provide a comparative perspective, policy responses to the low level of fertility in Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and European countries are reviewed in this study. For the purpose of analyzing attitudes and behaviors related to marriage, fertility and child-rearing, this study utilizes micro-data from the Population Censuses and Vital Statistics of Korea for the period 1990-2005. Micro-data from the 2003 National Survey of Fertility and Family Health, and the 2005 National Survey of Marriage and Fertility, conducted by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, are also analyzed in this study. Other documents such as published and unpublished reports from the Korea National Statistical Office are used to analyze the demographic characteristics as well as recent changes in fertility. Results of analyses reveal that women's attitudes toward marriage, timing of marriage and birth as well as total fertility rate are different according to socioeconomic status. Those with the lowest and the highest socioeconomic status show the most drastic decline in fertility and have been more likely to delay marriage and childbirth. A new pattern of socioeconomic differentials in fertility is found among the recent marital cohort who married after the 1997 economic crisis. The level of recent fertility turns out to be highest among those with upper-middle socioeconomic status, followed by those with the highest socioeconomic status and those with the lowest status. Results also show that recent fertility decline is associated with changing attitudes toward parenthood, the commitment of time and money for child-rearing, and the difficulties of women in balancing work and the maternal role. Recent marital cohorts tend to perceive the high economic and psychological costs of having a child more sensitively. Mainly due to low levels of social support and father's share of child-care activities, most women seem to quit their jobs when they give birth. As daycare centers for children aged between 0 and 2 are not widely available, working mothers tend to rely on their grandparents and relatives. These circumstances seem to lead young couples to delay their marriage and having a child, and to have less children. Results of this study imply that pro-natal policy makers need to pay more attention to recent changes in family values as well as the economic and psychological costs and benefits of having a child. In order to achieve effective policy interventions, we need more detailed and updated information on differential fertility. It is recommended that more comprehensive studies focused on family strategy and the decision making process of parenthood need to be conducted.