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Changing Social Context and Family Formation

This study, entitled the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS), was designed and implemented in 1996 to investigate the influence of changing social contexts on the timing of marriage, childbearing, and contraceptive use. The research investigates the extent to which changes in the community produce changes in family formation behavior, and whether the family organization of individual life courses produces these changes in behavior.

The study used a combination of ethnographic, archival, geo-spatial, and survey research methods to collect various contextual, household, and individual-level information. A systematic probability sample of 171 neighborhoods in western Chitwan was selected. Information about changes in schooling opportunities, the availability of health services, improvements in the transportation infrastructure, and other important social changes in these neighborhoods was collected using the Neighborhood History Calendar.

Retrospective Histories of Schools and Health Services

Retrospective histories of each and every school and health service that ever existed in the study area were also collected using the same calendar method. These retrospective histories were collected for the first time in 1996 and repeated in 2005. Following the neighborhood data collection, life histories of individual experiences, attitudes, beliefs, values, and religiosity was collected through individual interviews. Individual interviews were repeated in 2008.

Prospective Monthly Demographic Registry

In 1997, a prospective monthly demographic registry of family formation and dissolution events, contraception, and living arrangements was also started and is still on-going in its thirteenth year.

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