Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

Current Projects

Project Title:

Residential Context and Childbearing: Application of a Spatial Multilevel Multiprocess Hazard Model to Study Contextual Determinants of Fertility

Project Number:



Peter Dorey, University of St Andrews
Prof Hill Kulu, University of St Andrews
Dr Katherine Keenan, University of St Andrews
Dr Urska Demsar, University of St Andrews

Start Date:

1st February 2021


This project investigates childbearing patterns by residential context in Britain. The aims are as follows: First, to determine the extent to which spatial variation in childbearing patterns is attributed to compositional characteristics and selective residential moves. Second, to investigate which contextual factors (e.g. regional-economic characteristics, institutional and cultural-normative factors, social interaction) are important and how do they influence individuals’ childbearing behaviour? Third, to develop a spatial multilevel multiprocess hazard model to properly measure the effect of living environment on individuals’ childbearing behaviour. Determining how contextual factors influence individuals’ childbearing behaviour will improve our understanding of the factors that hinder or promote the realisation of childbearing desires and intentions, which, in turn, allows developing evidence-based social policies.


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Chaix, B., Merlo, J. and Chauvin, P., 2005. Comparison of a spatial approach with the multilevel approach for investigating place effects on health: the example of healthcare utilisation in France. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 59(6), 517–526.

De Beer, J., and Deerenberg, I. 2007. An explanatory model for projecting regional fertility differences in the Netherlands, Population Research and Policy Review 26, 511–528.

Goldstein, H., 2003. Multilevel Statistical Models. Third Edition. London, Edward Arnold.

Gray, E., and Evans, A. 2017. Geographic variation in parity progression in Australia. Population, Space and Place, e2080.

Hank, K., 2001. Regional fertility differences in Western Germany: an overview of the literature and recent descriptive findings, International Journal of Population Geography 7(4), 243–257.

Kulu, H., Vikat, A., and Andersson, G. 2007. Settlement size and fertility in the Nordic countries. Population Studies 61(3), 1–21.

Kulu, H., and Steele, F. 2013. Interrelationships between childbearing and housing transitions in the family life course. Demography 50(5), 1687–1714.

Kulu, H., and Washbrook, E. 2014. Residential context, migration and fertility in a modern urban society. Advances in Life Course Research 21(3), 168–182.

Snijders, T. A. B., and Bosker, R. J., 2012. Multilevel Analysis: An Introduction to Basic and Advanced Multilevel Modeling. Second Edition. London: Sage.

Snyder, A. R., Brown, S. L., and Condo, E. P. 2004. Residential differences in family formation: the significance of cohabitation, Rural Sociology 69(2): 235–260.

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