A structure of childbearing motivation

Jolanta Rytel, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University
Monika Mynarska, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University

In the context of fertility postponement and increasing childlessness, the study seeks to understand how reproductive choices are shaped by people’s most basic motives for parenthood. Many studies investigate obstacles that prevent young couples from having offspring or look at conditions that make realization of fertility intentions difficult. This study takes another perspective and complements our knowledge on reproductive decision-making by exploring psychological dimensions that shape childbearing desires and intentions. According to the theoretical model of Warren Miller, childbearing desire – that precedes reproductive intention and consequent behavior – is shaped by motivational traits or motives (Trait-Desire-Intention-Behavior model). The motivational traits are individual dispositions to react favorably or unfavorably to various aspects of parenthood. The Miller’s Childbearing Questionnaire allows for measuring the strength of childbearing motivation and for investigating its dimensions. It provides detailed information on what aspects of having children are evaluated positively or negatively by an individual. Which aspects are mostly desired or feared of. The Polish version of Childbearing Questionnaire has been administered to the purposive sample of over 900 childless men and women, aged 25-44. We explore this data to depict various components of childbearing motives. Next, we examine which of them are crucial for wanting to have a child (a desire) and for a precise plan to become a parent in the near future (an intention).

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Presented in Poster Session 2