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Title: Childbearing preferences and behaviour : where are all the men?
Author: Harrison, China
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 5135
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
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Research shows a predominantly female orientated approach to the study of fertility and childbearing. Prior to the 1990s men were missing from this research by design. Women were asked to report their partner’s childbearing preferences and behaviours and thus the true attitudes and opinions of men were largely unknown. Although men are no longer missing from this research, their participation rates are disproportionally low compared to women. The aims of the studies to be presented in this thesis were to better understand the childbearing preferences and behaviours of men, establish reasons for why men have disproportionately low participation rates in the research on childbearing, identify who and what could be a target of behaviour change interventions aimed to increase participation in childbearing research and identify whether the implementation of such interventions increase male participation. The work presented in this thesis demonstrates that, as with women, a number of factors influence whether and when men begin parenthood. However, there is diversity between men and women in terms of what factors they consider to be important and influential in the preconception decision-making process. Men overall wanted to be fathers but did not want to be involved beyond being the breadwinner of the family.Therefore results highlight the need to consider the childbearing preferences and behaviours of men in order to understand contemporary fertility trends and identify unmet needs in policy and research that concern men. Notwithstanding this, the disproportionally low participation rates of men in the research on childbearing ultimately means that the research base is not providing a good account of male attitudes towards whether and when to have children. When given the opportunity to participate in childbearing research men participate significantly less than women actively excluding themselves from the research as a result of less favourable attitudes towards the behaviour. The modification of attitudes is thus identified to be the mechanism that would most likely elicit intention (and potentially behaviour) change. The implementation of persuasive messages aimed to modify attitudes towards participation in childbearing research increased the perceived relevance of the behaviour but had little effect on attitude, intention and research behaviour. Overall, the work presented in this thesis demonstrates that raising public awareness that childbearing is an issue that affects men as well as women is likely to be key to integrating men into family life and increasing their participation in childbearing research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman