The changing values of children and preferences regarding family size in south Africa

Sam, David L.; Peltzer, Karl; Mayer, Boris (2005). The changing values of children and preferences regarding family size in south Africa. Applied psychology - an international review / Psychologie appliquée - revue internationale, 54(3), pp. 355-377. Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2005.00215.x

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This study extends the ongoing studies on values of children and intergenerational relations into an African context with the following key questions: To what extent can the structure of values of children (VOC) identified in previous studies be found in South Africa and what are women's preferences regarding the size of small, large, and ideal families? The sample consisted of three cohorts of Black South African women from the Limpopo Province. Factor analyses showed that the dimensions of VOC found in South Africa are a conglomeration of different values. Identified dimensions were Social/Emotional and Traditional/Utilitarian with respect to reasons for wanting children. Regarding reasons for not wanting children, Child as Source of Constraints and Constraints to Have a Child were identified. Intergenerational comparisons showed variations in the importance of value of children dimensions and in preferences regarding family size. Values of children of younger mothers were related to the number of children these women had and to their preferences regarding family size. The findings are discussed within the changing socio-political context of South Africa.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Mayer, Boris


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Blackwell Publishing




Boris Mayer

Date Deposited:

06 Oct 2014 12:01

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:32

Publisher DOI:


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