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Home » Blog » Pregnant colleague in the office — Beware of the “infec­tion risk”

Pregnant colleague in the office — Beware of the “infec­tion risk”

Pregnancy is not conta­gious, but it can have a copycat effect –espe­cially among female colleagues. A study by rese­ar­chers at the State Insti­tute for Family Rese­arch at the Univer­sity of Bamberg (ifb) found that women in parti­cular are influ­enced by a pregnancy in their immediate profes­sional environment.

The effect is parti­cu­larly strong among female colleagues of appro­xi­mately the same age. The proba­bi­lity of pregnancy is almost twice as high in the year after a colleague becomes a mother. The rese­ar­chers attri­bute this to mecha­nisms such as social lear­ning and social support.

Buyukke­ceci Z et al. Family, Firms, and Ferti­lity: A Study of Social Inter­ac­tion Effects. Demo­graphy 2020;57: 243–266.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-019–00841‑y

By the way, if the topic of pregnan­cies brings to mind the connec­tion between birth rates and stork popu­la­tion — here an inte­res­ting mathe­ma­tical back­ground article:

Der Storch bringt die Babys zur Welt (p = 0.008)
http://www3.math.uni-paderborn.de/~agbiehler/sis/sisonline/struktur/jahrgang21-2001/heft2/Langfassungen/2001–2_Matth.pdf