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Women’s attitudes towards fertility and childbearing – A study based on a national sample of Swedish women validating the Attitudes to Fertility and Childbearing Scale (AFCS)

Journal article
Authors Malin Söderberg
Kyllike Christensson
Ingela Lundgren
Ingegerd Hildingsson
Published in Sexual & Reproductive HealthCare
Volume 6
Issue 2
Pages 54-58
ISSN 1877-5756
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 54-58
Language en
Keywords Attitudes, fertility, childbearing, scale, women, principal component analysis
Subject categories Reproductive health, Other Medical Sciences


Objective: A delay in childbearing has been reported in high-resource countries. Factors reported to impact postponement include being mature enough, completing studies, and receiving a good salary. Other reasons are the partner relationship, efficient forms of contraception, value changes, housing conditions, and economic uncertainty. The aim of the study was to validate the previously developed instrument Attitudes to Fertility and Childbearing Scale (AFCS) in a sample of Swedish women and to relate the components to the women’s socio-demographic characteristics. Methods: Four hundred and twenty-four women, 20–30 years of age, who were not mothers answered and returned the questionnaire. Statistical analysis was conducted; construct validity using principal component analysis (PCA), Student’s t-test, and ANOVA was performed between the three components and women’s background characteristics. Results: The two components with highest loadings were Importance for future and Hindrance at present, indicating a time conflict. The third component was Female identity. The youngest women, single women, students, and women living in large cities were more likely to score high with the component Hindrance at present. Women having a partner were more likely to score high on Importance for future and Female identity. Conclusion: In this population, age, occupation, residential area, and civil (marital) status play a role in the attitudes towards fertility and childbearing. Fertility in relation to individual differences and age needs to be informed and discussed in society as well as in sexual and reproductive health care.

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