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01-01-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 1/2015

Journal of Child and Family Studies 1/2015

Childbearing Motivations Scale: Construction of a New Measure and its Preliminary Psychometric Properties

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 1/2015
Maryse Guedes, Marco Pereira, Raquel Pires, Paula Carvalho, Maria Cristina Canavarro


Given recent shifts in fertility patterns, the assessment of childbearing motivations is important for understanding reproductive decision-making. To overcome previous methodological and conceptual flaws, a self-report scale was developed to assess positive and negative childbearing motivations and their respective subdimensions. The present study aimed to construct the final version of the Childbearing Motivations Scale (CMS) and examine its factorial structure and preliminary psychometric properties. A sample of 614 participants from the general population, aged 19–49 years, provided sociodemographic information and completed the experimental version of the CMS. Preliminary analyses were performed to refine the item pool. The final version of the CMS consisted of two parts: a positive childbearing motivations subscale (26 items) and a negative childbearing motivations subscale (21 items). The factorial structure of the CMS was analyzed using a split-half validation method. Exploratory factor analyses provided evidence for a four-factor model for the positive childbearing motivations subscale (i.e., socioeconomic aspects, personal fulfillment, continuity and the couple relationship) and a five-factor model for the negative childbearing motivations subscale (i.e., childrearing burden and immaturity, social and ecological worry, marital stress, financial problems and economic constraints, and physical suffering and body-image concerns). Confirmatory factor analyses supported the stability of both models. The CMS demonstrated good internal consistency. The CMS may be a useful tool to better understand contemporary fertility patterns and prepare adequate familial policies and psychosocial interventions in reproductive health care systems. Future studies are needed to corroborate the psychometric properties of the CMS.

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