Childlessness intentions of young female researchers in Austria [Intendierte Kinderlosigkeit von jungen Wissenschaftlerinnen in Österreich]

Caroline Berghammer, Isabella Buber-Ennser, Alexia Prskawetz

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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According to prior studies, female researchers in Austria exhibit a very high level of childlessness and, consequentially, a low mean number of children. Following up on these studies, we analyse childlessness intentions of young female researchers and compare them to those of other highly educated women in other occupations. We examine factors that are related to female researchers' intent to stay childless. The analysis is based on a survey of 196 female researchers between the ages of 25 and 45 (with the majority being between age 25 and 34). Results indicate that few young, childless researchers plan a life without children: Only 7% intend to stay childless and most of them want to have two children (66%). Their intentions are strikingly close to those of their highly educated peers in other occupations. We discuss three factors that play a role for childlessness intentions of female researchers: work-related conditions (employment uncertainty and work-family reconciliation), personal career orientation, and partnership context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-288
JournalJournal of Family Research (Zeitschrift für Familienforschung)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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