It has previously been shown that infant mortality clusters in a subset of families, a phenomenon which was observed in historical populations as well as contemporary developing countries. A transmission of death clustering across generations has also been shown in Belgium, but it is unknown whether such effects are specific to the studied context or are also found in other areas.
Studies conducted in historical populations and developing countries have evidenced the existence of clustering in infant deaths, which could be related to genetic inheritance, early life exposures, and/or to social and cultural factors such as education, socioeconomic status or parental care. A transmission of death clustering has also been found across generations.
Studies conducted in historical populations and developing countries have evidenced the existence of clustering in infant deaths, which could be related to genetic inheritance and/or to social and cultural factors such as education, socioeconomic status or parental care. A transmission of death clustering has also been found across generations. One way of expanding the knowledge on intergenerational transfers in infant mortality is by conducting comparable studies across different populations.
This paper is one of a series of five studying the intergenerational transfer of infant mortality down the maternal line. All five studies share the same theoretical and methodological design, and use data derived from a standard database format: the Intermediate Data Structure (IDS). The data for the research reported in this paper were derived from a longitudinal dataset covering the 19th and 20th century population of the province of Troms in Northern Norway.
The burden of infant mortality is not shared equally by all families, but clusters in high risk families. As yet, it remains unclear why some families experience more infant deaths than other families. Earlier research has shown that the risk of early death among infants may at least partially be transmitted from grandmothers to mothers.
The paper examines the fall of marital fertility in Tasmania, the second settled Australian colony, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The paper investigates when marital fertility fell, whether the fall was mainly due to stopping or spacing behaviours, and why it fell at this time. The database used for the research was created by reconstituting the birth histories of couples marrying in Tasmania in 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1890, using digitised 19th century Tasmanian vital registration data plus many other sources.