Differences in fertility and family planning practices by type of family.
The primary objectives of this study, conducted in a community located in Baroda District in the Western part of India, were to determine fertility differences, if any, by family and to study the influence of family structure on the attitudes of its members toward family planning. Using a multistage stratified sampling design, a sample of 699 households in rural and 1224 in urban areas was selected. The rural sample covered 6 Talukas and the urban area covered Baroda city alone. A family was considered as nuclear if it consisted of husband and wife and their unmarried children. The joint family, categorized broadly, included the addition of any other family member and/or relative, whether married or unmarried to a nuclear unit. Of the total sample of rural households, 48.5% were nuclear and the remaining had a joint family system. Of the total sample of urban households, 58.2% were nuclear and 41.8% were joint. The average size of the rural household was 4.87 and 7.53 among nuclear and joint households respectively. The corresponding average household sizes in urban areas was 4.87 and 7.47, respectively. The fertility of a couple was influenced by socioeconomic, cultural, and demographic variables; religion; caste; and family. The average number of live births among nuclear and joint families from rural households was 3.76 and 2.77, respectively. In the urban area the corresponding figures were 3.36 and 2.43, respectively. Fertility among nuclear families was apparently higher than that among joint families in both rural and urban areas. To determine whether the difference in the average number of live births between the nuclear and joint families in rural and urban areas was real, the average number of live births among the nuclear families was standardized. When the difference in the effective marriage duration for which the women in these 2 groups may have been exposed was eliminated, the average number of live births was found to be almost the same for both types of families--rural as well as urban. A further break up of the data by different age cohorts revealed that among younger age cohorts (15-29) those belonging to nuclear families had higher fertility than those belonging to joint families. Older couples (30+) in joint families had higher fertility than older couples in nuclear families. Husband wife communication on family planning was significantly higher in urban nuclear families as compared to urban joint families, but there was not much variation in family planning communication between the husband and wife in rural families, either nuclear or joint. The extent of use of family planning methods was higher among nuclear families irrespective of the place of residence.