Published Papers - Abstract 23

Lee C & Gramotnev H. Motherhood plans among young Australian women: Who wants children these days? Journal of Health Psychology, 2006; 11(1): 2019-5-20

Fertility rates in the developed world have been below replacement level for 25 years, and it is often assumed that this results from deliberate, unconstrained individual choice. Data from 7,448 childless women aged 22 to 27, participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, indicate that 9 per cent of young women aspire to childlessness, with 72 per cent wanting 1 or 2 children and 19 per cent more. Differences in psychological functioning disappeared after adjustment for socioeconomic variables. Women wanting 1 or 2 children also want paid work, while those wanting many children generally have traditional aspirations. Policy-makers need to consider strategies that support women to negotiate motherhood and paid work.