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See detailDo mothers, grandmothers and adolescents in Germany and Poland differ in their ideas about having children or not? A closer look at the negative Value-of-Children and its further implications.
Albert, Isabelle UL; Trommsdorff, Gisella; Lubiewska, Katarzyna

Presentation (2012, March 29)

Whereas reasons for having children, i.e. positive VOC, have been a central focus within the framework of the Value-of-Children approach, reasons for not having children, namely negative VOC, have been ... [more ▼]

Whereas reasons for having children, i.e. positive VOC, have been a central focus within the framework of the Value-of-Children approach, reasons for not having children, namely negative VOC, have been given less attention so far. Perceived negative aspects of parenthood may, however, be of particular importance for the individual decision of having children or not, and may be related to the actual quality of intergenerational relationships. The aim of the present study was therefore to focus explicitly on negative VOC and to examine in how far negative aspects of having children are related to further variables characterizing intergenerational relationships in three different cohorts (mothers of adolescents, mothers of small children and adolescents) living in western and eastern Germany as well as in Poland. Participants took part in the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary Value-of-Children study. The study design allowed taking into account not only generational/cohort and country effects, but also effects of social change. A comparison of the reasons for not having children (negative VOC) between the different subsamples showed that whereas roughly the same negative aspects were most prominent in all subsamples (with problems related to job being rated highest by all participants), young mothers from West Germany and mothers from Poland as well as adolescents from all three subsamples were overall more bothered about having children compared to old and young mothers from East Germany and old mothers from West Germany. Higher negative VOC went along with mothers’ reported ideal number of children or with the actual number of children in the German mother subsamples. Negative aspects of having children had also an impact on adolescents’ ideas about having children: Whereas in Germany, adolescents’ intention of having children (or not) in the future was related to the level of negative VOC, in Poland, apart from that also the intended number of future children was related to negative VOC. [less ▲]

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