[Psychological motives behind the wish to have children among High School and University students under consideration of female test persons with eating disorders]

Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2005;51(3):230-46.
[Article in German]


Objectives: The aim was to investigate psychological motives behind the wish to have children among female and male students, with special consideration of females with eating disorders.

Methods: 736 participants (437 women and 299 men) were examined using the "Leipziger Fragebogen zu Kinderwunschmotiven und Einstellungen zum Kinderwunsch" (a questionnaire concerning the motives and attitudes for the wish to have a child). Disturbed eating behaviour was classified with the Eating Attitudes Test.

Results: 15.4 % of the students showed a low, 39 % a medium and 45.6 % a high wish to have children. The subscales "Desire for emotional stabilization" as well as "Social stereotypes" had the highest and "Fear of material impairment" and "Personal restriction" the lowest correlation with the wish for a child. Women with anorectic eating disorders displayed a significantly lower desire for children than students with normal eating patterns or women with a bulimic tendency.

Conclusions: The psychological motives examined here contributed highly to the explanation of variance concerning the wish to have children. The results for women with eating disorders indicate that primary ambivalences concerning the wish to have children may be involved in the pre-clinical stadium of eating disorders.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproductive Behavior / psychology*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Students / psychology*