Change in Motherhood Status and Fertility Problem Identification: Implications for Changes in Life Satisfaction

Arthur L. Greil, Julia McQuillan, Andrea R. Burch, Michele H. Lowry, Stacy M. Tiemeyer, Kathleen S. Slauson-Blevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether the association between changes in life satisfaction and becoming a mother (or not) depends on fertility problem identification status. Background: Evidence and symbolic interactionist theory suggest that, for women who initially perceive a fertility barrier, gaining the valued identity “mother” should be associated with increases and continuing to face a blocked goal (i.e., not becoming a mother) should be associated with decreases in life satisfaction. Method: This study used the nationally representative two-wave National Survey of Fertility Barriers to conduct a change-score analysis with chained multiple imputation. The focal dependent variable was change in life satisfaction. Focal independent variables were Wave 1 life satisfaction, fertility problem identification status, and birth between waves, controlling for stability and change in relationship status, talking to a doctor about how to get pregnant, religiosity, social support, importance of parenthood, importance of leisure, importance of work success, and economic hardship. Results: Among women who perceived a fertility problem at both waves, becoming a mother was associated with increased life satisfaction and not becoming a mother was associated with decreased life satisfaction. Women who gained or lost a fertility problem perception between waves but did not have a live birth experienced a gain in life satisfaction between waves, suggesting the relevance of the duration of fertility problem perception for change in life satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1162-1173
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume81
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

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motherhood
fertility
satisfaction with life
parenthood
Fertility
Motherhood
Life Satisfaction
social support
Waves
evidence
economics

Keywords

  • longitudinal research
  • parents
  • reproductive health
  • transitions
  • well-being
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Change in Motherhood Status and Fertility Problem Identification : Implications for Changes in Life Satisfaction. / Greil, Arthur L.; McQuillan, Julia; Burch, Andrea R.; Lowry, Michele H.; Tiemeyer, Stacy M.; Slauson-Blevins, Kathleen S.

In: Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 81, No. 5, 01.10.2019, p. 1162-1173.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Greil, Arthur L. ; McQuillan, Julia ; Burch, Andrea R. ; Lowry, Michele H. ; Tiemeyer, Stacy M. ; Slauson-Blevins, Kathleen S. / Change in Motherhood Status and Fertility Problem Identification : Implications for Changes in Life Satisfaction. In: Journal of Marriage and Family. 2019 ; Vol. 81, No. 5. pp. 1162-1173.
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