Role of family type in the idealization of a larger number of children by husbands in Pakistan

J Biosoc Sci. 2006 Mar;38(2):203-20. doi: 10.1017/S0021932005007273.


This study focuses on determining the number of children considered ideal by Pakistani husbands and identifying the factors associated with this, with a special emphasis on family type. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among married males residing in four areas of Khairpur district. An equal number of study participants were selected systematically from each field site to achieve the required sample size of 500. Interviews were conducted by trained fieldworkers using a structured questionnaire to obtain information on background socioeconomic characteristics, family structure and reproductive health knowledge and practices, in particular family planning. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess the hypothesis that family type has an independent association with husbands' idealization of a larger number of children. The mean ideal number of children perceived by husbands was four. Living in an extended family (AOR = 1.81; 95%CI: 1.11, 3.35) and being illiterate (AOR = 2.13, 95%CI; 1.33, 3.42) are significantly associated with idealization of a larger number of children by the husband, while adjusting for socioeconomic status, family structure and family planning information. Understanding the dynamics of family type and its effects on husbands' opinions regarding ideal number of children can help strengthen population control efforts in Pakistan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pakistan
  • Population Control
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Perception*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires