Does Family Policy Affect Decisions to Become a Parent? Case Examples

  • Urška Rajgelj Research Fellow at the Sociomedical Institute SRC SASA
Keywords: fertility rates, family policy measures, qualitative approach, Slovenia


In this essay, the author presents some results of a case study on the experiences of reproductive decisions among the university-educated, referring to family policy measures. The study outline was based on the reviewed recent demographic studies about the impact of family policy measures on fertility rates. Employing the qualitative approach, the interviewees and research location were selected according to socioeconomic and demographic characteristics that were in accordance with the main research question. The author mainly seeks to explain the widely perceived discrepancy between family policy regulations and the exercising of them in family formation. The interviewees’ distrust of state institutions was also related to their harmonisation of the family and work, which proved to be a significant negative factor in their fertility decisions. With the perceived incompatibility of care work with the culture of ‘long working hours’, the author also foresees a ‘locus’ of possible state support investment. The necessity of more flexible arrangements and alternatives for parents’ easier reconciliation of their employment and care also affects intergenerational relations.