This study examined to what extent family of origin influences age at first birth and final number of children. We took into account direct intergenerational transmission of fertility behaviour, family-life experiences around age 15, and the wider social context of the family of origin. Hazard regression analyses (N 6,630) and Poisson regression analyses (N 3,736) were performed using data from the 2002 03 wave
of the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study. Besides a positive relation between parents’ and their children’s fertility patterns, we find that positive experiences of family life around age 15 encourage childbearing: the less conflict between parents experienced by the child during early adolescence, the younger the adult child at first birth, and the larger the number of the adult child’s children. The number of children is also influenced positively by frequency of contact with non-residential relatives during early adolescence. The
socio-economic status and religiosity of the parental family also affect fertility.
Keywords: fertility; first birth; number of children; intergenerational transmission; family life; kinship network; social status; the Netherlands