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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Diane Kayongo-Male


This research investigated fertility behavior of married couples in Peninsular Malaysia. Using data from the Second Malaysian Family Life Survey conducted in 1988, a couple type model of fertility was developed. This model integrates the standard demographic variables of the wife with measures of couple types, community characteristics, contraceptive use, and length of marriage in order to predict fertility behavior. The main purpose of this research was to determine whether or not couple types improve demographers' prediction of fertility. Following a review of literature on Malaysia and fertility, two typologies of couple types were developed: power couple type and homogamy/heterogamy couple type. The power couple typology has three categories: (1) power couple type where power is in favor of wife; (2) power couple type where power is equal between husband and wife; and (3) power couple type where power is in favor of husband. The homogamy/heterogamy typology has just two categories: (1) homogamy couple type and (2) heterogamy couple type. Pearson product-moment correlation, analysis of variance (ANOVA), least squares means tests (LSMEANS), and "stepwise" multiple regression analysis were utilized to test the impact of wife's sociodemographic characteristics, contraceptive use, length of marriage, community characteristics, and couple types on fertility. The results from this research indicates that wife's sociodemographic characteristics, community characteristics, length of marriage, and contraceptive use are significant variables in explaining fertility. However, the best variables for predicting fertility from the above model are wife's age, length of marriage, and wife's educational level. The results also indicate that relationship of couple types and fertility were highly significant, although the hypothesized direction was not consistent. However, the results are still useful. The goal of the Malaysian government is to encourage married couples to have five children per family. Therefore, the target population that the Malaysian government and scholars may want to concentrate on promoting population growth in Malaysia will be those couples where power is in favor of husband. This couple type represents approximately 85 percent of the power couple type in this research.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fertility, Human -- Malaysia -- Malaya
Malaysians -- Population




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