ISSN 2079-6617 (Print)
ISSN 2309-9828 (Online)
Ru | En
Russian Psychological Society
The Faculty of Psychology. Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Main RSS Search


Danina Maria M., Kiselnikova (Volkova) Natalia V., Golzickaya Alyona A., Kuminskaya Eveniya A., Markova Svetlana V., Karpinskiy Konstantin V., Kolyshko Alexander M. (2016). The current state of research in the field of reproductive behavior of spouses’ regulation. National Psychological Journal. 2, 73-83.


The article provides an overview of the socio-demographic, socio-economic and psychological approaches to the study of reproductive behavior of spouses carried out over the last 30 years. Two categories of concepts that explain the determination of decisions on childbearing are regarded: rational-pragmatic and hedonistic. The trends in the development of this field of knowledge are as follows: 1) overcoming economical-oriented logic in explaining the factors and determinants of the decision making process; 2) individual psychological factors study in addition to the traditional socio-psychological analysis of the determination of childbirth; 3) the transition from studying the context of decisions about childbirth to the analysis of their role and place in the context of the person biography.

The analysis of the concepts and empirical studies helps not only to reveal a massive shift of professional interest from economic and demographic factors to psychological ones, but also to have a better understanding of socio-cultural and psychological and value determined roots of that shift. Nowadays, in contrast to biological patterns and established traditions, a personal or family decision about bearing a child is becoming more and more conscious.

Particular attention is paid to the concept of mental regulation of reproductive behavior that is developed at the intersection of psychology of reproductive behavior, psychology of parenthood and individual psychology. The supportive argument is that new objects of study are considered, such as voluntarily childless families, parents at risk, same-sex families.

Received: 11/29/2014
Accepted: 05/28/2016
Pages: 73-83
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2016.0207

Sections: Developmental Psychology;

PDF: /pdf/npj-no22-2016/npj_no22_2016_073-083.pdf

Keywords: human reproductive behavior; psychology of parenthood; childbearing decision parenthood motivation; human reproductive behavior regulation; individual psychology;

Available Online 30.08.2016


Ajzen, I. (2005) Attitudes, personality and behaviour. 2nd ed. New York, Open University Press.

Aries, Ph. (1980) Two Successive Motivations for the Declining Birth Rate in the West. Population and Development Review. 6, 645–650.

Axinn, W.G., Clarkberg M.E., Thornton A. (1994) Family Influences on Family Size Preferences. Demography. 31. 65–79.

Balashov, V. A, & Savinov L. I. (1997) The image of a modern family. Saransk, Mord. Press, 144.

Balen, F., & Trimbos-Kemper, T.C. M. (2008) Involuntarily Childless Couples: Their Desire to have Children and Their Motives. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. 26.

Beckman, L.J., Aizenberg, R., Forsythe, A.B., & Day, T. (1983) “A Theoretical Analysis of Antecedents of Young Couples’ Fertility Decisions. Demography. 20, 519–533.

Bernardi, L., & Mynarska, M. (2010) Surely yes, surely not, as soon as, maybe, at times, surely one day: understanding declared fertility intentions. REPRO- Deliverable. 5.

Bernardi, L., von der Lippe, H., & Keim, S. (2007) Social influences on fertility: a comparative mixed methods study in Eastern and Western Germany. Journal of Mixed Method Research. 1, 23–47.

Billari, F.C. (2009) The happiness commonality: fertility decisions in low-fertility settings. In keynote papers of panel discussion at UNECE Conference ‘How generations and Gender shape Demographic change’. Geneva.

Bos, H.M.W., Balen, F., & Boom, D.C. (2003) Planned lesbian families: their desire and motivation to have children. Human Reproduction. 18, 2216– 1114.

Brooks, J.B. (1991) The process of parenting. Mountain View, CA, Mayfield Publishing Company.

Bühler, C., & Fratczak, Е. (2007) Learning from others and receiving support: the impact of personal networks on fertility intentions in Poland. European Societies. 9, 359–382.

Cassidy, Т., & Sintrovani, Р. (2008) Motives for parenthood, psychosocial factors and health in women undergoing IVF. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. 26, 4–17.

Coltrane, S. (1997) Family man: Fatherhood, housework, and gender equity. Oxford, NY, Oxford University Press.

Cowan, C., & Cowan P. (1992) When partners become parents: The big life change for couples. United States. Harper Collins Publishers.

Daniels, P., & Weingarten, K. (1982) Sooner or later: The timing of parenthood in adult lives. New York, Norton.

Davidson, A.R., & Jaccard, J.J. (1975) Population psychology: A new look at an old problem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 31, 1073–1082.

Dyer, S., Mokoena, N., Maritz, J., & Spuy, Z. (2008) Motives for parenthood among couples attending a level 3 infertility clinic in the public health sector in South Africa. Human Reproduction. 23, 352–357.

Friedman, D., Hechter, M., & Kanazawa, S. (1994) A Theory of the Value of Children. Demography. 31, 375–401.

Gedueva, L. A. (2006) Reproduction of the social risks in Russia in the context of Russian young people sociocultural adaptation’s analysis. Socio-humanitarian knowledge [Sotsial’no-gumanitarie znaniya]. 12, 25–27.

Goldberg, W.A., Michaels G.Y. (1998) The transition to parenthood: current theory and research. New York, Cambridge University Press.

Gurko, T. A. (2000) Variability of views in the context of parenthood. Sotsis. 4.

Hildebrand, V. (2000) Parenting: rewards and responsibilities. Peoria, IL, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.

Hoffman, L.W., & Hoffman, M.L. (1973) The value of children to parents. J.T. Fawcett Eds. Psychological perspectives on population. New York, Basic Books.

Iacovou, M., & Tavares, L.P. (2010) Yearning, learning and conceding: (Some of) the reasons people change their childbearing intentions. ISER Working Paper Series. 22.

Karpinskiy, K.V., Kolishko, A.M., & Kisel’nikova, N.V. et al. (2014) Psychological regulation of reproductive choice. Relevant problems of individual psychology and social interaction [Aktual’nie problemi psikhologii litchnosti i sotsial’nogo vzaimodeystviya]. Grodno, Isdatelskiy tsentr imeni Ya. Kupaly. 48–56.

Koropeckyj-Cox, T., & Pendell, G. (2007) Attitudes about Childlessness in the United States: Correlates of Positive, Neutral, and Negative Responses. Journal of Family Issues. 28, 1054–1082.

Lesthaeghe, R., & Van de Kaa, D.J. (1986) Twee demografishe transities. In Bevokling Groei in Krimp. Dirk J. Van de Kaa, Ron Lesthaeghe (Eds.). Van Loghum Slaterus, Deventer.

Michaels, G.Y., & Goldberg, W.A. (Eds.) (1988) The transition to parenthood: Current theory and research. NY, Cambridge University Press.

Miller, T.B., & Short, S.E. (2004) Second births and the second shift: A research note on gender equity and fertility. Population and development review. 30, 109–130.

Miller, W.B. (1995) Childbearing motivation and its measurement. Journal Biosocial Science. 27, 473–487.

Miller, W.B., & Pasta, D.J. (1994) The psychology of child timing: A measurement instrument and a model. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 24, 221–205.

Morgan, S.P. (1982) Parity-specific fertility intentions and uncertainty: The United States 1970 to 1976. Demography. 19, 315–334.

Muzi, M.J. (2000) The experience of parenting. Upper Saddle, NJ, Prentice-Hall.

Nauck, B. (2007) Value of Children and the Framing of Fertility: Results from a Cross-cultural Comparative Survey in 10 Societies. European Sociological Review. 23, 615–629.

Newton, C.R., Hearn, M.T., Yuzpe, A.A., & Houle, A.A. (1992) Motives for Parenthood and Response to Failed in Vitro Fertilization: Implications for Counseling. J. of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. 9, 24–31.

Ovcharova, R.V. (2006) Parenthood as a psychological phenomenon: manual. Moscow, MPSI.

Paiva, V., Filipe, E.V., Santos, N., Lima, T.N., & Segurado, A. (2003) The Right to Love: The Desire for Parenthood among Men Living with HIV. Reproductive Health Matters. 11, 1191–100.

Philipov, D., Spéder, Z., & Billari, F.C. (2006) Soon, later or ever? The impact of anomie and social capital on fertility intentions in Bulgaria (2002) and Hungary (2001). Population Studies. 60, 289–308.

Regnier-Loiler, A. (2006) Influence of own sibship size on the number of children desired at various times of life. The case of France. Population, English Edition. 61, 16–194.

Rosina, A., & Testa, M. (2009) Couples’ First Child Intentions and Disagreement: An Analysis of the Italian Case La concordance des intentions d’avoir un premier enfant dans le couple: Une analyse du cas italien. European Journal of Population. 25, 487–502.

Roschina, Ya.M. (2006) Discovering potential childbirth factors among Russian families. SPERO. 5, 98–133.

Ryder, V. (1995) Parents and their children. South Holland, IL, Goodheart-Wilcox Company, Inc.

Sabota, Т. (2011). Reproductive Decision-Making in a Macro-Micro Perspective (REPRO). Synthesis and Policy Implications. Electronic source : http:// (19.11.2014)

Schoen, R., Kim, Y.J., Nathanson, C.A., Fields, J., & Astone, N.M. (1997) Why Do Americans Want Children? Population and Development Review. 23, 333–358.

Snegiryova, T.V. (2010) “Child-free” family as it is seen by a family psychologist. Cultural-Historical psychology [Kul’turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya]. 3, 99–109.

Sobotka, T. (2009) Sub-replacement fertility intentions in Austria. European Journal of Population. 25, 387–412.

Sobotka, T., & Testa, M.R. (2008) Attitudes and intentions towards childlessness in Europe. Hohn, Ch., Avramov, D., & Kotowska, I. (Eds.) People, population change and policies: lessons from the population policy acceptance study. 1, 177–211.

South, S.J., & Baumer, E.R. (2000) Deciphering community and race effects on adolescent premarital childbearing. Social Forces. 78, 1379–1408.

Sutter, P. De, Kira, K., Verschoor, A., & Hotimsky, A. (2002) The Desire to have Children and the Preservation of Fertility in Transsexual Women: A Survey. International Journal of Transgendernism. 6.

Taniguchi, H. (1999) The timing of childbearing and women’s wages. Journal of Marriage and the Family. 61, 1108–1120.

Thomson, E. (1997) Couple childbearing desires, intentions, and births. Demography. 34, 343–354.

Tschibisova, M. Yu. (2003) Motherhood as a phenomenon and its role in a young modern woman’s self-identification, PhD Thesis. Moscow.

Yamaguchi, K., & Ferguson, L.R. (1995) The stopping and spacing of childbirths and their birth-history predictors: rational-choice theory and event-history analysis. American Sociological Review. 60, 272–299.

Zakharov, S.V. (2005) Birthrate perspectives in Russia: the second demographic shift. National notes [Otechestvennie zapiski]. 3, 39–40.

Zakharova, E. I. (2015) Motives of modern women’s negative attitude toward motherhood. Cultural-Historical psychology [Cul’turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya]. 11, 44–49. Doi:10.17759/chp.20151101067.

Zakharova, E.I., & Strogalina, A.I. (2005) Peculiarities of accepting parent positions. Psychological diagnostics [Psikhologicheskaya diagnostika]. 4, 58–70.

For citing this article:

Danina Maria M., Kiselnikova (Volkova) Natalia V., Golzickaya Alyona A., Kuminskaya Eveniya A., Markova Svetlana V., Karpinskiy Konstantin V., Kolyshko Alexander M. (2016). The current state of research in the field of reproductive behavior of spouses’ regulation. National Psychological Journal. 2, 73-83.

About Editorial Board Volumes Authors For Authors Indexing Contacts

National Psychological Journal, 2006 - 2021