Do costs and benefits of children matter for religious people? Perceived consequences of parenthood and fertility intentions in Poland

Christoph Bein*, Monika Mynarska, Anne H. Gauthier

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)
    35 Downloads (Pure)


    The aim of this study was to examine the positive relationship between religiosity and fertility from the perspective of perceived consequences of parenthood. Previous studies in Germany have found that highly religious people ascribe higher benefits and lower costs to having children. Furthermore, the impact of costs and benefits on fertility is less pronounced among the highly religious. This study tested these mechanisms for fertility intentions and in the context of Poland- A country with a low fertility rate and high religiosity in comparison to other European countries. A sample of 4892 men and women of childbearing age from the second wave of the Polish version of the Generations and Gender Survey conducted in 2014/2015 was used. First, the extent to which perceived costs and benefits mediate the impact of religiosity on fertility intentions was analysed. Second, whether religiosity moderates the impact of perceived costs and benefits on fertility intentions was investigated. The results show that part of the positive effect of religiosity on fertility intentions can be explained by more-religious people seeing higher benefits of having children. Furthermore, but only in the case of women, religiosity moderates the impact of perceived costs on fertility intentions, suggesting that the effect of perceived costs decreases with increasing religiosity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)419-435
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Biosocial Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May-2021


    • Fertility
    • Religiosity
    • Values of children

    Cite this