The health of women of reproductive age and their childbearing intentions

Monika Mynarska,

Wiktoria Wróblewska


In this paper, we investigate the significance of health in the fertility choices made by women in Poland. We use data from the first wave of the Polish “Generations and Gender Survey” (GGS-PL), which was conducted at the turn of 2010 and 2011. We verify whether women who are disabled or who experience health problems limit their childbearing intentions. In our analyses, we use four different indicators for health. Our results suggest that all four might be important when planning a child in the subsequent three-year period. Nevertheless, our multivariate analyses indicate that only women’s self-rated health remains significant, if age, parity and marital status are controlled for.

Słowa kluczowe: Generations and Gender Survey (GGS-PL), intencje rodzicielskie, samoocena zdrowia, zdrowie

Kapitány B., Spéder Z., Realization, postponement or abandonment of childbearing intentions in four European countries, “Population” 2012; 67 (4): 599–629.

Schoen R., Astone N.M., Kim Y.J., Nathanson C.A., Fields J.M., Do fertility intentions affect fertility behavior?, “Journal of Marriage and Family” 1999; 61 (3): 790–799.

Spéder Z., Kapitány B., How are time-dependent childbearing intentions realized? Realization, postponement, abandonment, bringing forward, “European Journal of Population” 2009; 25 (4): 503–523.

Vinokur-Kaplan D., To have – or not to have – another child: Family planning attitudes, intentions, and behavior, “Journal of Applied Social Psychology” 1978; 8 (1): 29–46.

Bernardi L., Ryser V.-A., Le Goff J.-M., Gender role-set, family orientations, and women’s fertility intentions in Switzerland, “Partnerschaftliche Rollenaufleitung, Familienorientierung und Kinderwunsch von Frauen in der Schweiz” 2013, 39 (1): 9–31.

Billari F.C., Philipov D., Testa M.R., Attitudes, norms and perceived behavioural control: Explaining fertility intentions in Bulgaria, “European Journal of Population” 2009; 25 (4): 439–465.

Billingsley S., Ferrarini T., Family policy and fertility intentions in 21 European countries, “Journal of Marriage and Family” 2014; 76 (2): 428–445.

Dommermuth L., Klobas J., Lappegard T., Now or later? The theory of planned behavior and timing of fertility intentions, “Advances in Life Course Research” 2011; 16 (1): 42–53.

Vignoli D., Rinesi F., Mussino E., A home to plan the first child? Fertility intentions and housing conditions in Italy, “Population, Space, and Place” 2013; 19: 60–71.

Frątczak E., Ptak-Chmielewska A., The interplay of fertility intentions, female employment and work-life balance policies in contemporary Poland: Can gender equity, preference, and social capital theories provide a better insight?’, in: Oláh L.S., Frątczak E. (eds.), Childbearing, Women’s Employment and Work-Life Balance Policies in Contemporary Europe, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire 2013.

Mynarska M., Styrc M., Preferencje i ograniczenia. Czynniki determinujące intencje posiadania pierwszego i drugiego dziecka, in: Matysiak A. (ed.), Nowe wzorce formo­wania i rozwoju rodziny w Polsce. Przyczyny oraz wpływ na zadowolenie z życia, Scholar, Warszawa 2014: 54–76.

Begall K., Mills M., The impact of subjective work control, job strain and work-family conflict on fertility intentions: A European comparison, “European Journal of Population” 2011; 27 (4): 433–456.

Modena F., Sabatini F.,I would if I could: Precarious employment and childbearing intentions in Italy, “Review of Economics of the Household” 2012; 10 (1): 77–97.

Regnier-Loilier A., Vignoli D., Fertility intentions and obstacles to their realization in France and Italy, “Population” (English edition) 2011; 66 (2): 361–389.

Cavalli L., Rosina A., An analysis of reproductive intentions of Italian couples, “Population Review” 2011; 50 (1): 21–39.

Hayford S.R., Morgan P.D., Religiosity and fertility in the United States: The role of fertility intentions, “Social Forces” 2008; 86 (3): 1163–1188.

Miettinen A., Basten S., Rotkirch A., Gender equality and fertility intentions revisited: Evidence from Finland, “Demographic Research” 2011; 24: 469–495.

Ajzen I., The theory of planned behaviour, “Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes” 1991; 50 (2): 179–211.

Miller W. B., Childbearing motivations, desires, and intentions: A theoretical framework, “Genetic Social and General Psychology Monographs” 2011; 120 (2): 223–258.

Sobotka T., Testa M.R., Attitudes and intentions towards childlessness in Europe, in: Höhn C., Avramov D., Kotowska I.E. (eds.), People, Population Change and Policies. Lessons from the Population Policy Acceptance Study, Springer, Netherlands, 2008: 203–244.

Finocchario-Kessler S., Sweat M.D., Dariotis J.K., Trent M.E., Kerrigan D.L., Keller J. M., Anderson J.R., Understanding high fertility desires and intentions among a sample of urban women living with HIV in the United States, “AIDS and Behaviour” 2010; 14 (5): 1106–1114.

Hayford S.R., Agadjanian V., Luz L., Now or never: Perceived HIV status and fertility intentions in rural Mozambique, “Studies on Family Planning” 2012; 43 (3): 191–199.

Loutfy M.R., Hart T.A., Mohammed S.S., Su D., Ralph E.D., Walmsley, S.L. for the Ontario H. I. V. F. R. T., Fertility desires and intentions of HIV-positive women of reproductive age in Ontario, Canada: A cross-sectional study, “PLoS One” 2009; 4 (12): e7925.

Roe A.H., Traxler S.A., Hadjiliadis D., Sammel M.D., Schreiber C.A., Contraceptive choices and p in a cohort of women with cystic fibrosis, “Respiratory Medicine” 2016; 121: 1–3.

Shandra C.L., Hogan D.P., Short S.E., Planning for motherhood: Fertility attitudes, desires and intentions among women with disabilities, “Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health” 2014; 46 (4): 203–210.

Wojtyniak B., Umieralność kobiet w wieku 15–49 lat, in: NiemiecT.(ed.),Zdrowie kobiet w wieku prokreacyjnym 15–49. Polska 2006, Program Narodów Zjednoczonych ds. Rozwoju (UNDP), Warszawa 2007.

Central Statistical Office, Stan zdrowia ludności Polski w 2004 r., GUS, Warszawa 2006.

Central Statistical Office, Stan zdrowia ludności Polski w 2009 r., GUS, Warszawa 2011.

Central Statistical Office, Stan zdrowia ludności Polski w 2014 r., GUS, Warszawa 2016.

Wróblewska W., Determinants of women’s health status in Poland in transition to market economy, “Social Science and Medicine” 2002; 54 (5): 707–726.

Wróblewska W., Wróblewski Ł., Jakość życia ludności uwarunkowana stanem zdrowia, “Wiadomości Statystyczne” 2007; 6.

Mynarska M., Matysiak A., Rybińska A., Którędy do bezdzietności? Analiza ścieżek życia kobiet, które nigdy nie zostały matkami, in: Matysiak A. (ed.), Nowe wzorce formowania i rozwoju rodziny w Polsce. Przyczyny oraz wpływ na zadowolenie z życia, Scholar, Warszawa 2014: 105–131.

Vikat A., Speder Z., Beets G., Billari F.C., Buhler C., Desesquelles A., Solaz A., Generations and Gender Survey (GGS): Towards a better understanding of relationships and processes in the life course, “Demographic Research” 2007; 17: 389–439.

Kotowska I., Jóźwiak J., Panelowe badanie przemian relacji między pokoleniami, w rodzinie oraz między kobietami i mężczyznami: generacje, rodziny i płeć kulturowa – GGS-PL’, “Studia Demograficzne” 2011; 1 (159): 99–106.

Mynarska M., Kto planuje mieć dzieci w Polsce do 2015 roku?, “Studia Demograficzne” 2011; 1 (159): 75–98.

Hosmer D.W., Lemeshow S., Applied Logistic Regression, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., Canada 2000.

Case A., Fertig A., Paxson C., The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance, “Journal of Health Economics” 2005; 24 (2): 365–389.

Haas S.A., Health selection and the process of social stratification: The effect of childhood health on socioeconomic attainment, “Journal of Health and Social Behaviour” 2006; 47 (4): 339–354.

Palloni A., Milesi C., White R.G., Turner A., Early childhood health, reproduction of economic inequalities and the persistence of health and mortality differentials,“Social and Science Medicine” 2009; 68: 1574–1582.

Central Statistical Office, Podstawowe informacje o rozwoju demograficznym Polski do 2014 roku,GUS, Warszawa 2015.

Gustafsson S., Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe, “Journal of Population Economics” 2001; 14 (2): 225–247.

Schmidt L., Sobotka T., Bentzen J.G., Nyboe Andersen A., Demographic and medical consequences of the postponement of parenthood, “Human Reproduction Update” 2012; 18 (1): 29–43.

Wróblewska W., Zdrowie i społeczne nierówności w stanie zdrowia (Health and social inequalities in health), in: Panek T. (ed.), Statystyka społeczna, PWN, Warszawa 2014.

World Health Organization (1946), Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as Adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19–22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States, Official Records of the World Health Organization, No. 2, p. 100, and entered into force on 7 April 1948.


Data sources

Eurostat, 2016, demo_mlexpec,; accessed: 15.11.2016.

Eurostat, 2011, EHSIS data, hlth_dp040,; accessed: 15.11.2016.

Eurostat, 2012, LFS data, hlth_dpeh005,; accessed: 15.11.2016.

Czasopismo ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.
Pierwotną wersją czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna publikowana w internecie.