Document Type : Original Article


Department of Midwifery, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


INTRODUCTION: Motivation is directly involved in women’s childbearing decision. Considering
the lack of information about reproductive‑age women’s childbearing motivations with preferences
and actual child number in Iran, this study was conducted to determine the relationship between
childbearing motivations with the fertility preferences and actual child number of reproductive‑age
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The participants in this descriptive–correlational study were 844
reproductive‑age women (aged 15–49 years) who were married for the first time and came from
a wide range of areas in Mashhad. Multistage and convenience samplings were applied and the
data were collected using Miller’s childbearing motivation and fertility preferences and actual child
number questionnaire.
RESULTS: The results of the study reveal that positive‑ and negative‑childbearing motivation were
correlated with preferences (P < 0.001) but were not correlated with actual child number. Furthermore,
the interactional variable derived by a combination of positive and negative motivations showed a
significant relationship with the ideal and actual child number (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Childbearing motivations affect the fertility preferences in reproductive‑age women
but do not appear to have any influence on the actual child number. Furthermore, the interactional
variables affect the ideal and actual child number.


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