Examining the area effects and health on variation in reproductive behaviour.

There is a growing understanding that there are social gradients in health, teenage birth rates and causes of morbidity and mortality. However, the more ultimate causes and the more precise patterns that underlie this variation is yet largely unknown. The overall project aims to better understand individual and area level effects on reproductive decision-making, health and a deprivation in Northern Ireland.

Individuals who grow up in deprived areas tend to speed up reproduction and favour high risk behaviours related to (ill)health which sometimes lead to premature death. To date, studies attempting to answer questions about the effect of area characteristics on reproduction, health behaviours and mortality have often been restricted by cross-sectional data, crude death rates (i.e. on country or county level) and lacked data on individual-level confounders. We address these methodological shortcomings by making use of NILS unique features, including its longitudinal aspect and large sample size. We will construct multilevel event history analyses for individuals included in the 2001 and 2011 censuses, with focus on reproductive events of men and women from 1997, now including births recorded in the 2011 census. This is important as a large number of women aged 15 in 1997 when data is available, are now in their late 20s and increasingly progressing to their first birth. Ultimately, we are interested in examining how individual and area level factors might explain observed variation in fertility behaviours and importantly how effects of individual factors might be mediated by area level characteristics.



Uggla C, Mace R. Adult sex ratio and social status predict mating and parenting strategies in Northern Ireland. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017;372(1729):20160318. doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0318

Research Team: Caroline Uggla, Prof Ruth Mace and Antonio Silva
Database: NILS
Project Status: Complete
Organisation(s): University College of London – Dept. of Anthropology