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J Biosoc Sci. 1995 Oct;27(4):473-87.

Childbearing motivation and its measurement.

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  • 1Transnational Family Research Institute, Sunnyvale, California, USA.


This paper conceptualises the motive force behind human childbearing as originating in two broad traits which have biological bases, are shaped by experiences during early life and are expressed through their effect on desires and intentions. An instrument for measuring childbearing motivation, the Childbearing Questionnaire (CBQ), is presented. Using a sample of 401 married couples two main scales, nine subscales, and several independent items are described. Evidence for the reliability and validity of this instrument is presented. The versatility of the CBQ as a research instrument and the usefulness of the conceptualisation from which it is derived as a way of integrating social, behavioural, and biological science approaches to childbearing motivation are discussed.

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