ERIC Number: ED303730
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
A Follow-Up Study of Changes in the Values of Children by College Alumni from 1977 to 1986.
Why do people have children? How do motivations for having children develop over the lifespan? This study compared the positive and negative values of having children for undergraduate college students (N=341) in 1977 and and the same subjects' (N=160) values 9 years later in 1986. Nine specific values of having children were assessed using the Value of Children Attitude Scales: (1) children for continuity, tradition, and security; (2) parenthood satisfactions and sense of achievement from children; (3) role motivations of parenthood; (4) happiness and affection from children; (5) goals and incentives from having children; (6) social status from children; (7) external controls pressuring one to become a parent; (8) the costs of children; and (9) decision-mindedness in childbearing. Results indicated that there were changes with age in the perceived motivations for having children. There was less agreement among the alumni in 1986 than when they were 9 years younger in 1977 on the values of children overall. Disagreements centered on both positive (parental satisfactions and role motivations) and negative (external controls on childbearing, costs of children, and the need for decision-mindedness in childbearing) values associated with childbearing. It seemed that the alumni were less concerned with the constraints of parenthood than they were as undergraduates while they saw parenthood as providing less of a life role and less satisfaction than they had as undergraduates. Gender and parental status also affected how children were valued. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (95th, New York, NY, August 28-September 1, 1987).