University Students' Perceptions of Childless Couples and Parents in Ankara, Turkey

ÇOPUR Z., Koropeckyj-Cox T.

JOURNAL OF FAMILY ISSUES, vol.31, no.11, pp.1481-1506, 2010 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0192513x10361577
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1481-1506
  • Keywords: attitudes, childlessness, gender beliefs, perceptions, social change, Turkey, REARING PATTERN, LOW FERTILITY, FAMILY-SIZE, ATTITUDES, GENDER, MOTHERHOOD, EMPLOYMENT, WOMEN, EMERGENCE, VOLUNTARY
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Changing perceptions of childlessness have been documented in the United States, but little is known about perceptions in developing countries undergoing rapid social changes and globalization, including Turkey. This project uses a survey and hypothetical vignettes about childless couples and parents to assess university students' perceptions of childlessness (N = 850). The authors find that parents are rated higher on interpersonal warmth and marital relationship quality, but mothers are seen as more stressed. Childless men and women are perceived as more driven but also as more emotionally troubled. The results indicate the continued importance of parenthood among Turkish students but also an understanding of women's stresses in combining work and motherhood. The authors find relatively few rural and urban differences, whereas gender and income differences may reflect greater awareness of work-family concerns and acceptance of childlessness among women and higher income students.