A1 Journal article (refereed)
Perheen perustamisen odotukset nuorten lapsettomien naisten elämänkulussa (2020)

Alakärppä, O., Sevón, E., & Rönkä, A. (2020). Perheen perustamisen odotukset nuorten lapsettomien naisten elämänkulussa. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka, 85(1), 5-16. http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe202002115173

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsAlakärppä, Outi; Sevón, Eija; Rönkä, Anna

Journal or seriesYhteiskuntapolitiikka



Publication year2020


Issue number1

Pages range5-16

PublisherTerveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageFinnish

Persistent website addresshttp://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe202002115173

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/67866


Fertility has declined dramatically in Finland in recent years. This has been linked to the global economy, personal uncertainties in work and relationships, and the postponement of parenthood. However, little is known about how young women in emerging adulthood make their choices related to family formation. This study uses qualitative methods to address this question. The data comprise 30 individual interviews with Finnish childless women aged 18−27 years. The participants include students and employed and unemployed women with different educational backgrounds. Three types of family formation were identifed based on thematic analysis: intention to have a child, uncertainty about having a child, and planned childlessness. Young women who intended to have a child postponed parenthood because of their education, commitment to working life, and fnancial reasons. In addition, they felt a need for stability in their partnership, work, and fnancial situation. Women who were uncertain about having a child regarded motherhood as demanding. They were not immediately at ease with the idea of lifelong responsibility and family life with children. For higher educated women the reasons behind planned childlessness had to do with career and environmental concerns, and for unemployed and lower educated women with health and life course matters. The choice to have or not to have a child was highly dependent on partner issues. In sum, work-family reconciliation seems to play a key role in young women’s expectations concerning family formation. Our study suggests that in order to promote family formation, it is necessary frst of all to address the fnancial situation of young adults and their opportunities to reconcile studies, work and family. As regards young, unemployed women, more attention should be paid to their well-being, social inclusion and overall life situation.

Keywordswomenyoung peoplefamily formationexpectationscourse of lifeadulthood

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 11:16