Adolescents’ values of children and their future plans to have children: A multi-level perspective

Mayer, Boris; Trommsdorff, Gisela (29 July 2008). Adolescents’ values of children and their future plans to have children: A multi-level perspective (Unpublished). In: 19th International Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP). Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany. 27.07.-31.07.2008.

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The value-of-children approach relates reasons for having children (= values of children, VOCs) to fertility behavior. Several studies have shown that on the cultural as well as on the individual level economic-utilitarian VOCs are related to higher fertility while emotional VOCs are related to lower fertility. However, in previous studies cultural and individual levels were not considered simultaneously, and most studies included mothers who already had children as participants, thereby limiting conclusions regarding the direction of effects. In the present study the relations between adolescents’ values of children and their imagined future fertility behavior (= plans to have children) were studied using a multi-level approach. Subjects were N = 2972 adolescents from eleven cultures (mostly Europe and Asia + South Africa) participating in the international Value-of-Children and Intergenerational Relations project. Data were analyzed using hierarchic linear modelling. Results showed that on the cultural level the expected positive effect of economic-normative VOC and the expected negative effect of emotional VOC on adolescents’ plans for having children were found. However, at the individual level emotional VOCs were positively related to plans for having children, and this effect was moderated by culture-level economic-normative VOCs: in cultures with high economic-normative VOCs, the positive relation between emotional VOC and plans for having children was attenuated. Economic-normative VOCs were unrelated to plans for having children at the individual level. The results are discussed with respect to the possible implications of these findings for a culture-informed multi-level perspective on the VOC – fertility relation.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology

UniBE Contributor:

Mayer, Boris


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Boris Mayer

Date Deposited:

28 Oct 2020 15:38

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:41




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