Volume 33 - Article 23 | Pages 653–664

Motherhood of foreign women in Lombardy: Testing the effects of migration by citizenship

By Eleonora Mussino, Giuseppe Gabrielli, Anna Paterno, Salvatore Strozza, Laura Terzera

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Date received:08 Oct 2014
Date published:22 Sep 2015
Word count:2401
Keywords:interrelation hypothesis, Lombardy, migration, motherhood


Background: The international literature highlights the strong impact of the high risk of childbearing shortly after migration on period fertility, thus establishing a link between reproductive behaviors and migratory transitions.

Objective: The present study aims to analyze how migration affects motherhood and the role played by country of citizenship. Although most of the literature has focused on analyzing post-immigration fertility behaviors, in the present work we follow the women for their entire fertility period.

Methods: The data were collected in the 2010 ORIM survey, conducted by the Region of Lombardy and the Ismu Foundation. The survey covered about 8,000 immigrants in Lombardy, of whom 3,848 were women aged 14 years and over from less developed countries or Central/Eastern Europe. Using Event History Analysis, we applied discrete-time logit models to study the transition into motherhood.

Results: Moroccans are characterized by a strong interrelation effect between fertility and migration. Moroccans and Albanians are the national groups with the highest risk of having a first child during the years shortly after migration. Migration does not seem to have any effect on the fertility behavior of Romanians, who have a lower risk of having a child regardless of their migration status.

Conclusions: The study confirms the importance of the interrelationship between migratory and reproductive behaviors. It also highlights the different effects by country of citizenship, where different citizenships are often associated with different migration patterns and distinct gender roles.

Author's Affiliation

Eleonora Mussino - Stockholms Universitet, Sweden [Email]
Giuseppe Gabrielli - Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy [Email]
Anna Paterno - Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Italy [Email]
Salvatore Strozza - Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy [Email]
Laura Terzera - Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB), Italy [Email]

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