Children require considerable resources such as time and money to be raised. Still, despite the heavy costs involved, most people do decide to have children, a fact that raises the question of what motivates them to do so. Moreover, after having one or more children, people decide not to have additional ones, even though they might still be fertile. This raises the question of what motivates people to terminate procreation. The present paper aims to address these questions using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. In Study 1, we used in-depth interviews and open-ended questionnaires that lead to the identification of 66 reasons for which people have children and 23 reasons for which people stop having children. In Study 2, we used principal component analysis that classified these reasons in broader motivation domains, 15 for procreating and 4 for terminating procreation. Sex differences were examined in each domain. By placing procreation in an evolutionary framework, this study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the motives that drive people toward and away from the process of having children.
- motives for having children
- motives for stop having children
- reasons for having children