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China’s child policy shift and its impact on Shanghai and Hangzhou women’s decision-making

Authors Schwank SE, Gu C, Cao Z, Andersson E, Jiang H, Ding Y, Lindgren H

Received 3 May 2018

Accepted for publication 26 July 2018

Published 25 October 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 639—648

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S172804

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer


Simone Eliane Schwank,1 Chunyi Gu,2 Zhouli Cao,3 Ewa Andersson,4 Hongli Jiang,5 Yan Ding,2 Helena Lindgren4

1Karolinska Institutet, Women’s and Children’s Health, Reproductive Health, Columbia University, Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, Solna, Sweden; 2Nursing Department, Fudan University, Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Shanghai, China; 3School of Social Science, Hangzhou Normal University, Qianjiang College, Hangzhou, China; 4Karolinska Institutet, Women’s and Children’s Health, Reproductive Health, Solna, Sweden; 5Department of Health Economics, Fudan University, School of Public Health, Shanghai, China

Objectives: The Chinese government launched the two-child policy in 2015 to counteract the demographic changes, skewed sex ratio, and decreasing number of labor force. The policy shift has a significant impact on all levels of society and economy. This study aimed to describe how Mainland Chinese women face this new decision-making on their reproduction and family planning and captures factors contributing to the judgment and decision-making.
Method: The present qualitative study included a sample of 37 women, with an average age of 29.51 years, and well educated with bachelor degrees from urban areas of Shanghai and Hangzhou cities. The women were interviewed by social science students, using a 26-item interview targeting the women’s decision-making, expectations, and wishes with regard to the two-child policy.
Results: The contributors include the status of women, career, benefits, and challenges of two children, one-child generation, governmental support, and restrictions of reproductive freedom. These factors contribute to the women’s prolonged decision-making on whether to have a second child. These factors highlight the impact of the policy on perinatal health, societal, and economic changes. The study illustrates the need to continue understanding the impact of the child policy shift for families and the society of the China on multiple levels.
Conclusion: With the outcomes of research on the families’ judgment and decision-making with regard to a second child, support can be targeted where it is needed the most. The acquired knowledge may serve as a prognosis for the child policy’s future development and used to target perinatal care and education of health care specialists, essential to governmental planning and resource allocation.

Keywords:
Chinese child policy, perinatal health, reproduction, women, decision-making
 

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