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2021, vol. 55, br. 2, str. 352-377
Tip naselja kao determinanta bračnog i reproduktivnog ponašanja mladih
Visoka škola za poslovnu ekonomiju i preduzetništvo, Beograd

e-adresagasapesic@gmail.com
Ključne reči: mladi; selo; grad; brak; roditeljstvo
Sažetak
U radu se ispituje značaj tipa naselja za bračno i reproduktivno ponašanje mladih. Konkretnije, ispituju se razlike u vrednovanju i praktikovanju određenih oblika bračnog i reproduktivnog ponašanja između mladih koji žive u različitim tipovima naselja. Podaci su prikupljeni uz pomoć kvantitativnih tehnika - anketiranja i skaliranja. Istraživanje je sprovedeno u regionu Južne i Istočne Srbije. Kvotni uzorak sastojao se od ukupno 500 ispitanika, uzrasta od 15 do 35 godina. Rezultati istraživanja pokazuju da je tip naselja značajna determinanta, ali više za vrednovanje nego za praktikovanje određenih modela bračnog i reproduktivnog ponašanja mladih. Mladi u selu su privrženiji tradicionalnim vrednostima po pitanju braka i roditeljstva, dok su mladi iz grada skloniji prihvatanju onih savremenih. Međutim, praksa pokazuje da seoska omladina, pored zadržavanja tradicionalnih modela ponašanja, manifestuje i izvesna odstupanja od njih (odlaganje braka i roditeljstva, smanjene reproduktivne norme, kohabitacije i roditeljstvo van braka).

Introduction and theoretical-empirical research framework

The adoption of low reproductive norms, postponement of childbirth, i.e. postponement of the time for the first childbirth and increasing out-of-wedlock childbirth are basic characteristics of young people's reproductive behaviour in Serbia. Moreover, there is also the phenomenon of giving up, or renunciation of childbirth/parenthood. In the domain of marriage and partnership, changes take place in the direction of the decreasing number of young people who have actually concluded marriage, the increased average age for marriage conclusion, i.e. postponement of marriage, as well as giving up the marital union, the increasing number of divorced people, and practising extramarital forms of partnership. In that manner, Serbia is coming closer to the marital and reproductive model of the developed European countries. As a consequence of such behaviour of the young, the fertility level decreases below the necessary level for simple reproduction, and the negative natural population growth appears, which, together with the negative migration balance, results in depopulation.

In literature there are numerous theories attempting to explain the changes in the domain of marriage and reproduction. Most of them can generally be divided into those that prioritize certain factors (socio-economic or socio-cultural) and those that try to explain the changes by integrating (these and some other) factors. Accordingly, the first group of theories would include: the (first) demographic transition theory (Landry 1934; 1949; Notestein 1945, 1950; 1953; Thompson 1944; 1950), microeconomic theory (Becker, 1960; 1976; 1981; Becker & Lewis, 1973; Easterlin, 1973; 1974; 1975; 1976; Leibenstein, 1957; 1974; 1978), ideational-cultural theory (Cleland & Wilson, 1987) and the second demographic transition theory (Van de Kaa, 1987; 2001; Leastheaghe & Van de Kaa, 1986; Leastheaghe, 1992; Leastheaghe & Surkyn, 1988). In an attempt to explain the changes in marital and reproductive behaviour, the second demographic transition theory includes several factors and their interaction. However, the emphasis is placed on the socio-cultural aspect or, more precisely, the change in values. In that respect, this theory can be classified among ideational-cultural theories. Another group of authors and/or theories strive towards the explanation that involves the combination of several factors, and thus towards the revision of the above-listed theories. For example, the (first) demographic transition theory, according to which the demographic transformation is under the direct influence of socio-economic determinants, is opposed by Coale (Coale, 1973) who, based on the research1, shows that there is no automatism between the economic growth and the fertility level. His revision of the (first) demographic transition theory includes both economic and cultural dimensions in the explanation of democratic changes. Bulatao (Bulatao, 1984) is one of the demographists who tried to overcome the limitations of the microeconomic theories, by including, apart from economic, socio-psychological and cultural factors in decision-making about childbirth. Moreover, the complex combination of the factors affecting marital and reproductive behaviour is also proved by the paradigm resources-limitations-behaviour (Hoffmann-Nowotny, 1987; Hoffmann-Nowotny & Fux, 2001).

It is evident that there is disagreement among the authors, i.e. that there is not a single adequate theory for exploring the above-mentioned demographic changes. Marital and reproductive behaviour is rather complex and determined by various factors. Accordantly, its complex exploration and understanding is possible only through taking into consideration the postulates of several theoretical orientations and in cooperation with many sciences (demography, sociology, economics, psychology, biology, medicine etc.).

The specific nature of sociological research is reflected in emphasizing social conditionality, i.e. studying social determinants of marital and reproductive behaviour. Since the analysis of social conditionality of marital and reproductive behaviour is too extensive a task for empirical research, the research attention in this paper is focused on the exploration of one social, or more precisely, socio-demographic, as well as socio-cultural determinant - the type of settlement young people live in.

According to the data of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, many authors show that the type of settlement determines the differences in marital and reproductive behaviour. In urban settlements, there is a higher percentage of common-law marriages and divorces (Stanković, 2015, p. 206). In comparison to the young in the city, there is a higher percentage of the young in the village deciding to conclude marriage and doing it at an earlier age (Pešić, 2016, p. 29). Speaking of parenthood/childbirth, a higher degree of childbirth is characteristic for women in rural settlements, while in urban settlements there is a higher share of women who have no children or have only one child (Bubalo and Živković, 2015, p. 33; Mitrović, 2015, p. 76; Rašević, 2015, p. 92). In addition to the fact that women from the village are involved in reproduction on a larger scale and have a larger number of children, they tend to do it at an earlier age in comparison to women from the city (Pešić, 2016, p. 30). The results of sociological research show that young people from the village more often plan to start a family (Mojić, 2012, p. 86), and also that there is a larger number of young parents in the village than in the city (Tomanović and Stanojević, 2015, p. 51). Moreover, young people from the village assess that the ideal age for getting married is substantially earlier in comparison to the opinion of young people in the city (Tomanović and Stanojević, 2015, p. 48).

Based on the above-mentioned, it is assumed that traditional attitudes and norms are still present among the village youth when it comes to marriage and reproduction, so that accordingly there are certain forms of marital and reproductive behaviour. In addition, it is necessary to explore the partially modified model of behaviour in the village. Namely, some studies show that in rural settlements, apart from traditional behaviour models (such as universality of marriage, marriage as a framework for childbirth), there are also modernized elements, which implies more frequent postponement of marriage and childbirth (Čikić, 2017, pp. 118–119), as well as having a smaller number of children (Mitrović, 2015, p. 73; Novakov, 2011, pp. 183–184). Furthermore, there is an indication of the relatively higher presence of cohabitation (Petrović, 2011, p. 66) and childbirth in common-law marriages (Stanković and Penev, 2010, p. 4) among women living in rural settlements.

The above-listed theories, statistical data and results of earlier studies constitute the starting basis on which the research was planned. An attempt was made to supplement findings and get a more comprehensive picture of the differences in young people's marital and reproductive behaviour according to the type of settlement they live in.

Research methodology

In the research, the differences have been explored in the evaluation and practice of some forms of marital and reproductive behaviour between young people living in different types of settlements. The data have been collected with the aid of quantitative techniques – survey and scaling.

The dependent variables in the evaluation analysis of marital and reproductive behaviour consist of four scales. Each scale contains three attitudes and/or items. The respondents were presented these attitudes and asked to express the degree of their agreement with each of them on Likert five-point scale. After the examination, all negatively formulated attitudes were reversed and the reliability of the measurement scale was checked up. Cronbach's alpha coefficient is over 0.7 in all four scales, which shows quite good reliability and internal agreement within each scale (DeVellis, 2012). The range of potential values on each scale is from 3 to 15, whereas the theoretical mean value dividing the scale into two poles is 9.

The marriage evaluation scale contains the following attitudes: 1. Marriage is sacred, 2. Everyone should live in marriage, and 3. Marriage is an outdated institution. Cronbach's alpha coefficient speaks of the high reliability of this scale (α=0.836).

The cohabitation evaluation scale includes the following attitudes: 1. It is alright for two people to live together before getting married, 2. It is alright for a couple to live together although they do not intent to get married, and 3. It is shameful to live in a common-law marriage. Here, Cronbach's coefficient is of slightly lower, but satisfactory reliability (α=0.706).

The evaluation scale of the traditional pattern of childbirth/parenthood consists of the following statements: 1. Parenthood is the most important thing in life, 2. Childbirth is very important for marriage to function, and 3. There should be as many children as possible so that we can survive as a nation (α=0.722).

The evaluation scale of out-of-wedlock parenthood contains the following statements: 1. It is alright to be a parent in a common-law union, 2. It is alright for a woman/man to have the role of a single mother/father, and 3. It is shameful for a woman to have a child out of wedlock (α=0.714).

The dependent variables used in the analysis of the practice refer to the realized, planned, desired or ideal marital and reproductive behaviour of the respondents:

  • realized (marital/partnership status, the age for concluding marriage, parental status, the age for parenthood, the number of respondents' children);

  • planned (marriage plans, cohabitation tendencies, parenthood plans), and

  • ideal and desired behaviour (the desired number of children, the ideal number of children, the ideal age for a woman to get married, the ideal age for a man to get married, the woman's ideal age for the first childbirth).

An independent variable in all the analyses is the type of settlement: the city and the village.

In the categorization of the space into urban and rural settlements, the applicable statistical criterion of the Republic of Serbia was applied, according to which all settlements that have not been declared to be urban will be classified as others, so they are automatically considered rural/village settlements2.

The research was conducted in the region of Southern and Eastern Serbia, in 9 statistical districts (Nišava, Toplica, Jablanica, Pirot, Braničevo, Podunavlje, Bor, Zaječar and Pčinj). The quota sample consisted of the total of 500 respondents. Due to increasingly frequent postponement of marriage and parenthood, the phenomenon of "extended youth" (Ule, 1988), the respondents were aged between 15 and 35. The research was conducted in the period from September 2018 to June 2019.

Research results

The general hypothesis of the research is: There are differences in the evaluation and practice of certain models of young people's marital and reproductive behaviour in relation to the type of settlement they live in. This hypothesis contains several separate hypotheses, so the research results will be presented in line with them.

Speaking of the differences in the evaluation of different forms of marital and reproductive behaviour between young people according to the type of settlement, the hypotheses are as follows:

Hypothesis 1: Young people from the village value marriage and childbirth/parenthood in traditional terms more than young people from the city.

Hypothesis 2: Young people from the city value cohabitation and out-of-wedlock parenthood more than young people from the village.

The research results confirm the established hypotheses. Marriage is valued more by young people from the village (AS=12.47, SD=2.914) in comparison to young people in the city (AS=10.39, SD=3.473). Traditional forms of childbirth/parenthood is also more valued by the respondents living in the village (AS=12.70, SD=2.350) than by those living in the city (AS=10.64, SD=3.007). Cohabitation is more valued by the young from the city (AS=12.64, SD=2.345) than by the respondents from the village (AS=10.37, SD=2.967). Moreover, out-of-wedlock parenthood is more valued by the young in the city (AS=11.84, SD=2.732) in comparison to those in the village (AS=9.66, SD=2.879). All these differences show statistical significance (p=0.000). The eta squared value shows that the differences are moderate in the evaluation of marriage (η2=0.09), somewhat more pronounced, but still mean-size differences when it comes to childbirth/parenthood in traditional terms and in the evaluation of out-of-wedlock parenthood (η2=0.12), while the evaluation of cohabitation shows a large difference (η2=0.14) (Table 1).

Table 1. Differences in the evaluation of different forms of marital and reproductive behaviour according to the type of settlement
Табела 1. Разлике у вредновању различитих облика брачног и репродуктивног понашања према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
t p η2
Град/City
(n=285)
Село/Village
(n=215)
AS SD AS SD
Вредновање брака/
Evaluation of marriage
10,39 3,473 12,47 2,914 -7,260 0,000 0,09
Вредновање кохабитације/
Evaluation of cohabitation
12,64 2,345 10,37 2,967 9,268 0,000 0,14
Вредновање традиционалног обрасца рађања-родитељства/
Evaluation of the traditional pattern of birth/parenthood
10,64 3,007 12,70 2,350 -8,609 0,000 0,12
Вредновање родитељства ван брака/
Evaluation of out-of-wed-lock parenting
11,84 2,732 9,66 2,879 8,610 0,000 0,12

Hypothesis 3: There are differences in the young people's marital/partnership status according to the type of settlement they live in. There is a higher percentage of married people living in the village than among young people in the city.

The research results show that there was a slightly higher percentage of married young people among the respondents in the village (28.4%) than among the respondents in the city (22.5%). However, the common-law union is almost equally present among the respondents in the village (9.3%) and the respondents in the city (9.1%). There are more people who are not married in the city (68.4%) than in the village (62.3%) (Table 2).

Table 2. Marital/partner status according to the type of settlement
Табела 2. Брачни/партнерски статус према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
Брачни статус/Marital status
У браку/
Married
У ванбрачној заједници/
In common-law marriage
Неожењени - Неудате/
Not married
N % N % N %
Град/City
(n=285)
64 22,5 26 9,1 195 68,4
Село/Village
(n=215)
61 28,4 20 9,3 134 62,3
Укупно/Total
(N=500)
125 25,0 46 9,2 329 65,8

Still, these differences have not proved to be statistically significant (χ2=2.412, (N=500), df=2, p=0.299).

Hypothesis 4: Among young people in the village, there is a higher percentage of parents than among young people in the city.

The assumed difference has been confirmed in the research. Namely, young people in the village are parents in 32.6% cases, while young people in the city are parents in 19.3% cases (Table 3).

Table 3. Parental status according to the type of settlement
Табела 3. Родитељски статус према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
Родитељски статус/
Parental status
Родитељ/
Parent
Није родитељ/
Not parent
N % N %
Град/City
(n=285)
55 19,3 230 80,7
Село/Village
(n=215)
70 32,6 145 67,4
Укупно/Total
(N=500)
125 25,0 375 75,0

The chi-squared test (with Yates’ Correction for Continuity) shows that these differences are statistically significant (χ2=10.796, (N=500), df=1, p=0.001). The phi correlation coefficient shows the association of low intensity (phi=-0.152).

As far as the form of parenthood is concerned, the traditional pattern of the relation between marriage and childbirth prevails among youth: most parents (88.8%) realize the parenthood role within the marital union. The number of those who become parents outside the marital union is really small – 14 (11.2%) in total, but the data show that most of them (11) come from the village, while only three of them come from the city.

Hypothesis 5: Young people in the village have a larger actual, ideal, desired and planned number of children in comparison to young people in the city.

The average number of children of young people living in the city is 1.47, while that average is higher among young parents in the village and amounts to 1.73. The independent - samples T test shows a statistically significant difference (t=-2.386, p=0.019), while eta squared shows that the difference is small (η2=0.04) (Table 4).

Table 4. Differences in the actual number of children according to the type of settlement
Табела 4. Разлике у стварном броју деце према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
t p η2
Град/City
(n=55)
Село/Village
(n=70)
AS SD AS SD
Стварни број деце/
Actual number of children
(N=125)
1,47 0,504 1,73 0,658 -2,386 0,019 0,04

The ideal number of children is 2.20 according to the respondents from the city, and 2.66 according to those from the village. There is also a significant difference established here (t=-7.325, p=0.000), while eta squared shows the mean difference (η 2=0.09). The desired number of children among young people from the city is 2.09, and among those in the village 2.60. T test shows a similar result regarding the desired number of children (t=-7.813, p=0.000, η2=0.10). The planned number of children is 1.87 for the respondents in the city, and 2.33 for those in the village. This difference is also statistically different (t=-7.415, p=0.000), while here eta squared also shows a moderate difference (η2=0.09) (Table 5).

Table 5. Differences in the ideal, desired, planned number of children according to the type of settlement
Табела 5. Разлике у идеалном, жељеном, планираном броју деце према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
t p η2
Град/City
(n=285)
Село/Village
(n=215)
AS SD AS SD
Идеални број деце/
Ideal number of children
(N=500)
2,20 0,708 2,66 0,650 -7,325 0,000 0,09
Жељени број деце/
Desired number of children
(N=500)
2,09 0,762 2,60 0,675 -7,813 0,000 0,10
Планирани број деце/
Planned number of children
(N=500)
1,87 0,696 2,33 0,646 -7,415 0,000 0,09

Hypothesis 6: Young people in the village get married and become parents at an earlier age in comparison to young people in the city.

The results in Table 6 show that the average age for concluding marriage among young people in the village is 24.7, while that average age is slightly higher among young people in the city – 26.48.

Table 6. Differences in age when marrying according to the type of settlement
Табела 6. Разлике у годинама склапања брака према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
t p η2
Град/City
(n=69)
Село/Village
(n=63)
AS SD AS SD
Године склапања првог брака/
Age at first marriage
(N=132)
26,48 4,082 24,97 3,637 2,236 0,027 0,03

This difference proved to be statistically significant (t=2.236, p=0.027), while eta squared shows that the difference is small (η2=0.03).

The average age when young people in the village become parents is 25.86, in comparison to 27.16 among young people in the city. However, this difference does not prove to be statistically significant (t=1.821, p=0.071) (Table 7).

Table 7. Age difference between partners when becoming a parent according to the type of settlement
Табела 7. Разлике у годинама остварења родитељства према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
t p η2
Град/City
(n=55)
Село/Village
(n=70)
AS SD AS SD
Године када су први пут постали родитељи/
Age at which they became parents for the first time
(n=125)
27,16 4,050 25,86 3,928 1,821 0,071 /

Hypothesis 7: Young people in the village think that the ideal age for getting married and having children is earlier than the ideal age in the opinion of young people in the city.

The average value of the ideal time for a woman to get married is 23.71 years among the respondents in the village, while that age is slightly higher among the respondents in the city, so the average value is 26.33 years. According to T test, there is a statistically significant difference (t=10.595, p=0.000). The difference is visible and also statistically significant in the perception of the best age for men getting married, the average of which in the village is 27.93, and in the city 29.76 (t=7.055, p=0.000). The results confirm the hypothesis regarding the ideal age for the first childbirth, the average value of which is 24.51 for rural youth, while city youth finds that the best age for childbirth is somewhat higher, with the average value of 26.88. The difference also proves to be statistically significant here (t=10.013, p=0.000). Eta squared shows a moderate difference when it comes to the perception of the ideal age for getting married for men (η2=0.09) and large differences in the perception of the ideal age for getting married for women (η2=0.18) and childbirth (η2=0.16) (Table 8).

Table 8. Differences in the ideal age for marriage and parenthood according to the type of settlement
Табела 8. Разлике у идеалним годинама за брак и родитељство према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
t p η2
Град/City
(n=285)
Село/Village
(n=215)
AS SD AS SD
Најбоље године да се жена уда/
Ideal age for a woman to get married
26,33 2,822 23,71 2,637 10,595 0,000 0,18
Најбоље године да се мушкарац ожени/
Ideal age for a man to get married
29,76 3,332 27,93 2,497 7,055 0,000 0,09
Најбоље године да жена роди прво дете/
Ideal age for a woman to give birth to a first child
26,88 2,733 24,51 2,472 10,013 0,000 0,16

Hypothesis 8: There are differences in marriage planning among young people depending on the type of settlement they live in: Among young people in the village, there are more those who plan marriage than among young people living in the city.

The research results (Table 9) show that the percentage of those who plan to get married soon is doubled among the respondents in the village (31.8%).

Table 9. Marriage plans according to the type of settlement
Табела 9. Планови за брак према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
Планови за брак/
Marriage plans
Планира брак ускоро/
Planning a marriage soon
Не планира ускоро, али жели да буде у браку/
Not planning a marriage soon, but would like to be married
Уопште не планира или не размишља о браку/
Not planning or thinking about marriage at all
N % N % N %
Град/City
(n=221)
32 14,5 118 53,4 71 32,1
Село/Village
(n=154)
49 31,8 71 46,1 34 22,1
Укупно/Total
(N=375)
81 21,6 189 50,4 105 28,0

On the other hand, there is a higher percentage of the respondents in the city who do not plan or do not think about marriage, as well as those postponing its conclusion. These differences have proved to be statistically significant (χ2=16.861, (N=375), df=2, p=0.000), while the association degree indicators indicate the correlation of low-intensity (V=0.212, C=0.207).

Hypothesis 9: Young people from the city show a more pronounced tendency to live in cohabitation as compared to young people in the village.

The research shows that a slightly higher percentage of young people in the city (58.2%) are willing to live in cohabitation before getting married, as compared to the percentage of young people in the village (52.6%). The differences are more visible when it comes to the acceptance of cohabitation as a permanent form of partner life, as well as the rejection of cohabitation. Namely, more than one third of the respondents from the city (35.6%) are willing to live in cohabitation permanently, while that share is less than one fifth among the respondents from the village (16.3%). Almost one third of the respondents from the village (31.1%) do not accept to live with a partner before getting married, while there are only 6.2% of those among the respondents from the city (Table 10).

Table 10. Tendencies of a common-law marriage according to the type of a settlement1
Табела 10. Тенденције ванбрачне заједнице према типу насеља1

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
Ванбрачна заједница – тенденције/
Common-law marriage – tendencies
Живели би са партнером у кохабитацији пре брака/
Would live with their partner in cohabitation before marriage
Живели би у кохабитацији трајно/
Would live in cohabitation permanently
Не би живели са партнером пре него што склопе брак/
Would not live with a partner before getting married
N % N % N %
Град/City
(n=194)
113 58,2 69 35,6 12 6,2
Село/Village
(n=135)
71 52,6 22 16,3 42 31,1
Укупно/Total
(N=329)
184 55,9 91 27,7 54 16,4

1 The analysis includes respondents with no marital or common-law marriage status.

The chi-squared test confirms the statistical significance of the difference (χ2=41.275, (N=329), df=2, p=0.000), while Cramér's indicator of association and contingency coefficient point to the correlation of mean intensity between the type of settlement and willingness to live in cohabitation (V=0.354, C=0.334). Therefore, the above-established hypothesis can be confirmed since young people in the city are more willing to live in cohabitation, both temporarily and permanently, while among young people in the village there is a more pronounced tendency of rejecting cohabitation.

Hypothesis 10: There is a difference in parenthood planning among young people in relation to the type of settlement they live in: young people in the city tend to postpone parenthood more than young people in the village.

The research results (Table 11) show that among rural youth there is a higher percentage of the respondents who plan or expect children soon, while among city youth there is a higher percentage of those who do not plan or think about parenthood at all.

Table 11. Parenthood planning according to the type of settlement
Табела 11. Планови за родитељство према типу насеља

Тип насеља у којем живе млади/
Type of settlement young people live in
Планови за родитељство/
Parenthood planning
Планира или очекује родитељство ускоро/
Planning or expecting parenthood soon
Не планира ускоро, али жели да буде родитељ/
Not planing parenthood soon but would like to become a parent
Уопште не планира или не размишља о родитељству/
Not planning or thinking about parenthood at all
N % N % N %
Град/City
(n=230)
45 19,6 126 54,8 59 25,7
Село/Village
(n=145)
42 29,0 84 57,9 19 13,1
Укупно/Total
(N=375)
87 23,2 210 56,0 78 20,8

The differences have proved to be statistically significant (χ2=10.278, (N=375), df=2, p=0.006). Cramér's indicator of association and contingency coefficient point to the correlation of low intensity between the type of settlement and parenthood planning (V=0.120, C=0.167).

Discussion

The type of settlement young people live in has proved to be a relevant determinant for their marital and reproductive behaviour. It has a particular relevance to the evaluation of the tested models of behaviour. Statistically significant (mean and large) differences have been registered in the fact that marriage and traditional form of childbirth i.e. parenthood in marriage, are valued more in the village, while cohabitation and out-of-wedlock parenthood are valued more in the city.

Regarding the realized and planned marital and reproductive behaviour, the results show that among young people in the village (as compared to young people in the city), there are substantially more parents, more people who plan marriage and parenthood soon, as well as those who refuse to live in cohabitation. Moreover, young people in the village perceive the ideal age for marriage and parenthood much earlier and they actually get married earlier. In addition, it has been registered that they have a larger ideal, desired, planned and realized number of children. In contrast, there are much fewer parents among young people from the city; they tend to postpone marriage or, more precisely, they get married and plan to get married at an older age. It can be seen that they have more pronounced indifferent and negative attitudes when it comes to marriage and parenthood planning. They are also more willing to live in cohabitation, both temporarily and permanently. In comparison to young people from the village, they have substantially lower reproductive norms. The above-listed differences are statistically significant, while the association between the type of settlement and the tested variables proves to be the correlation of low intensity.

These results can be explained both by the influence of traditional/patriarchal values pursued in the rural family and environment, as well as by narrow opportunities of choice, smaller desires and needs of young people in the village, which leads to their making an earlier and "easier" decision get married and become parents. The larger planned and realized number of children among young people in the village can also be explained by the fact that they value the "quality" of children less and the quantity, i.e. the number of children more. On the other hand, young people from the city want to improve the quality of life for their children (through proper diet, health, education, accommodation, holiday, socializing, sports, excursions, travel etc.), and that is why they decide to have fewer children.

The above-listed results speaking about the persistence of traditional values and behaviours among rural youth are in line with the analyses conducted by other authors (Bubalo and Živković, 2015; Mitrović, 2015; Mojić, 2012; Pešić, 2016; Rašević, 2015; Stanković, 2015; Tomanović and Stanojević, 2015). Furthermore, the research results show that among young people in the village there are also certain deviations from traditional models of behaviour. Namely, cohabitation is equally present in the village as in the city, while out of-wedlock parenthood is even more present among young people in the village. In addition, there is also a tendency among rural youth to postpone/delay getting married and realizing the parenthood role, and also getting closer to the reproductive model with the smaller number of children. Therefore, in the village, at the level of the attitudes, marriage and parenthood are preserved in traditional terms, while at the level of behaviour there are also both cohabitation and out-of-wedlock parenthood. This may indicate that such behaviours of rural youth are primarily their response to unfavourable structural socio-economic conditions they live in, rather than the result of their choices, which is in line with the opinion of other others who have dealt with this problem (Petrović, 2011; Stanković and Penev, 2010).

Conclusion

Young people's attitude to partnership, marriage and childbirth/parenthood should not be simply reduced solely to the effects of economic, cultural or other determinants. It is more appropriate to say that this attitude depends on different variables among which there may be some interaction. It is impossible to reject the fact that the poor economic situation, i.e. structural obstacles, such as unemployment, difficulty in resolving the housing matters, low earnings, poor material situation in the country, unsatisfactory economic standard, lack of financial and housing independence, can affect certain categories of young people in such a manner as to direct them towards postponement or rejection of marital and parental roles. Nevertheless, the research results also indicate that some traditional, religious, cultural and social effects can still have a strong role in the formation of attitudes and behaviours of young people. Namely, the type of settlement proves to be a relevant determinant of young people's marital and reproductive behaviour.

The research has established statistically significant differences that speak of the more pronounced presence of traditional attitudes and behaviour patterns among rural youth in comparison to city youth. Those differences can definitely be explained by traditional value orientations and dominant effects of patriarchal behaviour patterns which are pursued through family authority, local public opinion and neighbourhood among young people in the village, i.e. more modern values and more flexible and egalitarian behaviour models which are more prevalent in family circles and environment of city youth. That is why, apart from considering economic factors, the attitudes of those authors who emphasize the significance of cultural factors are indisputably acceptable as well.

The results also show that the marital union is more present in the village, while there is no difference regarding cohabitation. In addition, out-of-wedlock parenthood is more present among young people in the village. It can also be observed that rural youth is gradually accepting low reproductive norms and postponing marriage and parenthood. These results indicate that the village as a source for population renewal (Mitrović, 2015, p. 77) is slowly showing the tendency of drying up. Therefore, marital and reproductive behaviour of young people in the village proves to go in the direction of the partly modified traditional model. The evident discrepancy between the evaluation and practice among rural youth, i.e. between the attitudes and the practice, leads to a conclusion that their modified behaviours are primarily the consequence of their inability to achieve goals and/or values in the unfavourable socio-economic context. Numerous studies speak about poor living conditions in rural regions, as well as about the more unfavourable economic position of rural population in comparison to city population (Bogdanov, 2007; Cvejić et al,2010; Mojić, 2012; Naumović and Petković, 2011; 2016; Tomanović and Stanojević, 2015; Živkov et al, 2012). Nevertheless, according to this and other studies, there is still a higher percentage of those who have become parents in rural population. They choose that role earlier than city population. Moreover, rural women's fertility is substantially higher than that of women in the city (Bubalo and Živković, 2015; Mitrović, 2015; Pešić, 2016; Rašević, 2015; Stanković, 2015). The paradox of the greatest number of children being born in poor families and in rural regions, among those people who objectively have the least favourable conditions, can be explained by still significant influence of traditional value orientations and patriarchal behaviour patterns. Therefore, it may be assumed that the modified behaviour model of the village youth is an expression of necessity and response to the structural barriers rather than the result of the more substantial adoption of modern values with the power to determine behaviour. This assumption definitely demands new research that will, based on adequate empirical methods and analyses, answer the question: Is it a conscious choice, or coercion and accident instead?

On the basis of the above-mentioned, it can be concluded that the type of settlement constitutes a more important determinant of evaluation (at the level of awareness and attitudes) than of practicing certain models of marital and reproductive behaviour. The observed differences in evaluation have, inter alia, transpired to be mean and large, while the registered association between the type of settlement and the planned and realized marital and reproductive behaviour has transpired to be the correlation of low intensity. In the end, it should be noted once again that marital and reproductive behaviour has a broad and rather complex determinist basis, and that its complex research requires exploring a large number of different factors (socio-cultural, socio-demographic, socio-economic, psychological, and biological), as well as exploring their interconnectedness.

Dodatak

Acknowledgment

The paper is based on the results of the research conducted for the purpose of writing the doctoraldissertation entitled “Social Determinants of Marital and Reproductive Behaviour of Young Peoplein Southeast Serbia”, defended at the Faculty of Philosophy, the University in Niš, and contains partof the findings presented in it. https://nardus.mpn.gov.rs/handle/123456789/17496

Endnotes

1Starting from the West Europe history, Coale initiated a large study aimed at reexamining the demographic transition theory in Princeton in 1963. A comparative study was conducted in 700 European provinces and lasted for more than two decades.
2In our statistics, until the 1982 census, the settlements were classified into urban, rural and mixed, and the classification criteria were the size of a settlement and the ration between the agricultural and total population. Unfortunately, this approach was abandoned, and all the following censuses (from 1991 onwards) applied the division into “urban” and “other” settlements; in this way, the previously important category of “mixed settlements” was lost, as well as the possibility to conduct a more accurate analysis of village deagrarization and depopulation.

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Leibenstein, H. (1957) Economic Backwardness and Economic Growth. New York: John Wiley & Sons
Leibenstein, H. (1978) General X-Efficiency Theory and Economic Development. New York: Oxford University Press
Leibenstein, H. (1974) An Interpretation the Economic Theory of Fertility: Promising Path or Blind Alley?. Journal of Economic Literature, 12(2): 457-479
Lesthaeghe, R., van de Kaa, D. (1986) Two demographic transitions?. u: Lesthaeghe R.; Van de Kaa D. [ur.] Bevolking-Groei en Krimp, Mens en Maatschappij, The Netherlands: Deventer, 9-24
Lesthaeghe, R., Surkyn, J. (1988) Cultural dynamics and economic theories of fertility change. Population and Development review, 14(1): 1-45, Available at: https:// www.jstor.org/stable/1972499
Lesthaeghe, R. (1992) The Second Demographic Transition in Western Countries: An interpretation. Brussels: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Interuniversity programme in demography, IPD-Working Paper 1991-2, Available at: http://interfacedemography.be/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/WP-IPD-1991-2.pdf
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Mojić, D. (2012) Between village and city, young people in Serbia in the first decade of the third millennium. Beograd: Čigoja štampa, In Serbian
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Notestein, F.W. (1950) The Population of the World in the Year 2000. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 45(251): 335-345
Notestein, F.W. (1953) Economic problems of population change. u: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference of Agricultural Economists, London: Oxford University Press, 1952: 13-31, Available at: https://u.demog.berkeley.edu/~jrw/Biblio/Eprints/%20M-O/Notestein.EconomicProbsPopChange.pdf
Novakov, M. (2011) Family and social position of a mother in a village. Novi Sad: Univerzitet u Novom Sadu - Poljoprivredni fakultet, In Serbian
Pešić, D. (2016) Attitudes of Serbian youth from rural and urban areas toward marriage and reproduction. Sociološka luča, Year X(10): 21-38, Available at: http:// www.socioloskaluca.ac.me/PDF25/Pesic,%20D.%20S.,%20Odnos%20seoske%20.... pdf, In Serbian
Petrović, M. (2011) Changes of marital behavior and family patterns in post-socialist countries: Delayed, incomplete or specific second demographic transition?. Stanovništvo, vol. 49, br. 1, str. 53-78
Rašević, M. (2015) Fertility of the female population. u: Nikitović V. [ur.] Population of Serbia at the beginning of the 21st century, Beograd: Republički zavod za statistiku, 74-95, Available at: http://publikacije.stat.gov.rs/G2015/Pdf/G20154006.pdf, In Serbian
Stanković, B. (2015) Marital status of the population. u: Nikitović V. [ur.] The population of Serbia at the beginning of the 21st century, Beograd: Republički zavod za statistiku, 194-218, Available at: http://publikacije.stat.gov.rs/G2015/Pdf/G20154006.pdf, In Serbian
Stanković, B., Penev, G. (2010) Extramarital births and extramarital unions: between marginalization and modernization. Demografski pregled, Year X (37): 1-4, Available at: https://www.minrzs.gov.rs/sites/default/files/201811/37%20Vanbracna%20radjanja%20i%20vanbracne%20zajednice.pdf, In Serbian
Thompson, W.S. (1950) Population. Scientific American, 182(2): 11-15, Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/24967374
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van de Kaa, D.J. (1987) Europe's Second Demographic Transition. Population Bulletin, 42(1): 1-57, Available at: https://estvitalesydemografia.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/ europec2b4s-second-demographic-transition.pdf
van de Kaa, D.J. (2001) Postmodern fertility preferences: From changing value orientation to new behaviour. Population and Development Review, 27: 290-331
Živkov, G., et al. (2012) The future of villages in Serbia. Beograd: Tim za socijalno uključivanje i smanjenje siromaštva, Available at: http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/ wp-content/uploads/2014/05/buducnost_sela_web.pdf, In Serbian
 

O članku

jezik rada: srpski, engleski
vrsta rada: izvorni naučni članak
DOI: 10.5937/socpreg55-31481
primljen: 23.03.2021.
revidiran: 17.05.2021.
prihvaćen: 18.05.2021.
objavljen u SCIndeksu: 16.07.2021.
metod recenzije: dvostruko anoniman
Creative Commons License 4.0

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