The theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). According to

The study of fertility intentions is always central in the debate about
fertility rates in developed as well as developing countries, under the realistic
assumption that, in an almost perfect contraceptive regime, having a child is a
result of a reasoned, although imperfect, decision (Mencarini et al., 2015). Fertility intentions are also considered
as central to purposive human behaviour and a crucial variable in the analysis
of fertility trends (Schoen et al., 1997; Bongaarts, 2001).
They have been defined as the most proximate determinants of fertility
behaviour and as the final common pathway through which motivations, attitudes,
beliefs and desires affect reproductive behaviour. However, from many research
done on fertility studies, it is observed that there is always a difference in
actual fertility outcome and fertility intention of couples and it is also
evident that couples tend to have less number of children than they desire. In
Japan, for instance, actual fertility is being substantially below desired
family size since about 1975 (Retherford et al., 1996). Similarly,
there is a fair, clear difference between
desired and intended fertility: desires may have thought of as unconstrained,
whereas intentions incorporate factors such as individual’s circumstances and
perceptions of his or her partner’s desires (Thomson, 1997).  A useful interpretation of the link between
intentions and behaviour is provided by
the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). According to this theory,
intention can be seen as determinants of
behaviour, with a corollary that those factors which have an impact on
intentions will also have an impact on behaviour.

The above-mentioned framework can be used to model
fertility decision-making process: when people articulate their intentions to
have a child, they rely on three conceptually distinct, but interrelated,
primary antecedents of fertility intentions:
attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control (Ajzen
and Klobas, 2013). These antecedents represent the most important predictors of
fertility intentions. Some well-established factors studied in demographic
research, such as age, parity, or education, are treated as external variables.
According to TPB the background factors should affect only the primary
antecedents of fertility intentions, and should not have a direct influence on
the intentions themselves, or on fertility outcomes.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

The
available evidence signifies that women in India state their fertility goals as
to have enough number of sons they desire. In other words, sons are considered
as the determinant of reproductive achievement, whereas having the desired
number of girls seems to be much less important than having the desired number
of boys (Vlassoff, 1990). This centrality of having desired number of sons remains rooted in the cultural practices,
which affects adversely the childbearing
intention at the individual level. Moreover, from NFHS-1 to NFHS-2
survey knowledge of contraception and the contraceptive rate has relatively
increased from 95 percent to 99 percent and 23 percent to 25 percent
respectively. Unwanted pregnancies seem to be significantly high. Further, the
data which has been reflected in Health
Management Information System (HMIS), shows a different scenario in case of
TFR. For instance, in 2005 the TFR accounted around 2.9 which later on declined
to 2.4 in 2012. A study on eight states of India
found that there was high fertility in four larger states and levels of wanted
fertility were high, at three or more children per married woman, and the unwanted
proportion ranges from 20 to 28 percent of total marital fertility. Whereas, in
other three states the level of fertility was moderate, and the proportions of
unwanted fertility were even higher, ranging from 31 to 34 percent (Kulkarni
& Choe, 1998).

Most of the research analysing correlates of the intention status of
women’s pregnancies have been based on data collected from cross-sectional
surveys using retrospective fertility intentions. Using
longitudinal data, it would be interesting to investigate how people
change their perception towards childbearing goals with time and who are stable
on their stated ideal family size during an inter-survey period. What are the time-varying and in-varying factors playing a
role in childbearing intention? Ideally, the following above queries can only
be attempted to answer from the availability of longitudinal survey and panel
data, i.e., IHDS-1 and IHDS-2 study,
which gives us an opportunity to look into these issues more objectively. Therefore, in this
paper, an effort has been made to assess the change in the level of ideal
family size and its time-varying and
in-varying determinants during inter-survey
period.