Childlessness has been increasing over the last decades in most European societies. Previous studies have mostly focused on the ‘involuntary’ component of childlessness, and factors affecting voluntary childlessness remained poorly understood. This article presents an analysis of the factors associated with the intention to be childless, and the realisation and stability of this intention in the short-term. The theory of planned behaviour is applied to relate childlessness intentions with their realisation and to explore the role of ideational factors on the variability of possible fertility outcomes. Results show that more than 90% of the respondents realised their desire to remain childless. Childlessness intentions, however, tend to be less stable than parenthood ones, at all ages with the exception of individuals aged 40 years or more. Individuals’ attitudes towards childbearing and perceived social pressure toward parenthood strongly correlate with the stability of the intentions toward childlessness or parenthood, whereas socio-economic characteristics and factors connected with individuals’ perceived control count for little. The study sheds light on people who voluntarily live without children and suggests that being childless is not always the result of opportunities and external constraints, but it could be a choice originating from personal and intimate domains of life.

Albertini M., Brini E. (2021). I’ve changed my mind. The intentions to be childless, their stability and realisation. EUROPEAN SOCIETIES, 23(1), 119-160 [10.1080/14616696.2020.1764997].

I’ve changed my mind. The intentions to be childless, their stability and realisation

Albertini M.
Primo
;
2021

Abstract

Childlessness has been increasing over the last decades in most European societies. Previous studies have mostly focused on the ‘involuntary’ component of childlessness, and factors affecting voluntary childlessness remained poorly understood. This article presents an analysis of the factors associated with the intention to be childless, and the realisation and stability of this intention in the short-term. The theory of planned behaviour is applied to relate childlessness intentions with their realisation and to explore the role of ideational factors on the variability of possible fertility outcomes. Results show that more than 90% of the respondents realised their desire to remain childless. Childlessness intentions, however, tend to be less stable than parenthood ones, at all ages with the exception of individuals aged 40 years or more. Individuals’ attitudes towards childbearing and perceived social pressure toward parenthood strongly correlate with the stability of the intentions toward childlessness or parenthood, whereas socio-economic characteristics and factors connected with individuals’ perceived control count for little. The study sheds light on people who voluntarily live without children and suggests that being childless is not always the result of opportunities and external constraints, but it could be a choice originating from personal and intimate domains of life.
2021
Albertini M., Brini E. (2021). I’ve changed my mind. The intentions to be childless, their stability and realisation. EUROPEAN SOCIETIES, 23(1), 119-160 [10.1080/14616696.2020.1764997].
Albertini M.; Brini E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/830405
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