Factors in birthtiming decisions for career women

Julie Dean Wright, Tennessee State University


The purpose of the study was to determine the factors involved in birthtiming decisions for women who are pursuing careers that require extended education. A variety of variables including spousal support, individual career, dual career, marital stability, personal goals, health/age, and external pressure were assessed to determine their priority in the birthtiming decision-making process. Participants were fifty-six female terminal degree graduate students, of childbearing age, who planned to have children within their current marriage or committed relationship, and were recruited from graduate programs located throughout the United States. A series of hierarchical log linear analyses were conducted to determine the combination of variables associated with the decision to begin childbearing under the conditions of spousal support, marital stability, husband/partner's career establishment, fertility problems, age, and number of children desired. Results indicated that the women sampled preferred to be in a stable relationship with a man who wanted to have children at that time and was established in his career, before becoming pregnant with their first child. The women also preferred to have graduated and to have established themselves in their career before beginning childbearing. When the women considered possible fertility problems and age milestones, they conceded only that they would become pregnant even if they had not obtained a job after graduation. Based on the results, suggestions were given for future research and career advisement for women in the career/family planning process.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Julie Dean Wright, "Factors in birthtiming decisions for career women" (2000). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007581.