Determinants of Family Size for Low‐Income Families: Sex Role Orientation and Value of Children

Mary E. Heltsley, Richard D. Warren, Helen Hong‐Min Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to examine the determinants of family size in a sample of low‐ income married couples. The model used in the study views the relationship between sociodemographic variables, sex role orientation, value of children, and family size as a developmental sequence. The data for the study were gathered by interviewing 120 midwestern low‐income married couples (n = 240). Path regression analysis was used to test the model for the husbands and wives separately. Since the husbands and wives in the study are couples, a one‐fold nested‐error design was used to assess the difference in path regression coefficients for the husbands and wives. The results show that a pooled coefficient (common) can be used for length of marriage and sex role orientation, length of marriage and family size, age of marriage and family size, and education and value of children. According to this study, separate coefficients for wives and husbands are needed for the influence of sex role on value of children. 1981 American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-296
Number of pages13
JournalHome Economics Research Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1981
Externally publishedYes


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