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.
Available Online: 30.08.2016