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Women’s attitudes towards children and motherhood: a predictor of future childlessness?

Graham, Melissa, Smith, Carly and Shield, Margaret 2015, Women’s attitudes towards children and motherhood: a predictor of future childlessness?, Journal of social inclusion, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 5-18.

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Title Women’s attitudes towards children and motherhood: a predictor of future childlessness?
Author(s) Graham, MelissaORCID iD for Graham, Melissa orcid.org/0000-0002-0927-0002
Smith, Carly
Shield, Margaret
Journal name Journal of social inclusion
Volume number 6
Issue number 2
Start page 5
End page 18
Total pages 14
Publisher Griffith University ePress
Place of publication Nathan, Qld.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1836-8808
Keyword(s) childless
motherhood
attitudes
Summary Pronatalism expects and presumes that all women will be mothers, and stereotypes, stigmatises and excludes those who fail to conform. Yet, within the context of pronatalism, little is known about women without children’s attitudes towards motherhood, and their subsequent childbearing. This study aimed to determine if women’s attitudes towards children and motherhood predicted future motherhood status, using data from the Negotiating the Life Course Study. Women 18 years and over at Wave 1, who did not have children, were included in the analysis (n = 122). Logistic regression was used to predict motherhood status at Wave 4 based on attitudes at Wave 1. A positive attitude toward the importance of children in one’s life increased the likelihood of future motherhood, while believing children negatively impact on freedom increased the likelihood of not future childlessness. Findings also suggested that attitudes relating to the burden of children, or the impact of children on a woman’s career, are similar for those who do and do not become mothers. Women’s attitudes towards children and motherhood may be a poor predictor of future childlessness. This study counters some of the negative attitudinal stereotypes towards childless women in a pronatalist society.
Language eng
Field of Research 1608 Sociology
1607 Social Work
119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920507 Women's Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30083876

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.