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Casual Employment Tied to an Increased Chance of being Childless by 35

Update Date: Nov 20, 2013 08:55 AM EST

In a new study, researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia examined the relationship between the types of employment women held and their likelihood of having their first child. The team discovered a link between the amount of time women stayed under causal employment and their chances of being childless. According to the researchers, the longer women were employed casually, the less likely they were to have a child before turning 35-years-old.

The research team headed by Vivienne Moore, a professor in the Discipline of Public Health at the University examined data gathered from Australian women who participated in the Life Journeys of Young Women Project. The participants were all born between 1973 and 1975 at a large hospital located in Adelaide, South Australia. From 2007 to 2009, the researchers had interviewed the participants, who were then between the ages of 32 and 35. The interview gathered information on the women's relationships, childbirths and employment starting at the age of 15 and onward.

The data revealed that at the time of the interview, 442 out of 653 women had given birth at least once. The mothers made up 67 percent of the group of women. The researchers found that during the time of the birth, most of the women were employed permanently. 11 percent of the women were temporarily employed where as 33 percent of them were never under temporary employment. 33 percent of the women lived with a partner.

The researchers calculated that for every year a woman spent under temporary employment, her chances of having a child by the age of 35 was reduced by eight percent when compared to women without temporary jobs. After three years, women under temporary employment had a 23 percent lowered chance of having their first child before turning 35. After five years, the women's chances were reduced by 35 percent.

"Our findings suggest that, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances, women generally aspire to economic security prior to starting a family. This finding is important because it challenges the pervasive media representations of delayed childbirth as a phenomenon arising from highly educated women choosing to delay motherhood to focus on their careers," the authors wrote according to Medical Xpress.

The study was published in Human Reproduction, an European reproductive medicine journal.

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