Effect of Adverse Childhood Experiences On Adult Desire to Parent

Sarah Jasmine Bailey

Abstract


One of the most important choices for any adult is whether to procreate. Research has shown that childhood experiences and the desire to have children are all somehow interconnected. Some who had a difficult childhood may want to give their child the life they never had, others with the same adversity believe they would never want to bring a child into this world. Not immediately evident is what distinguishes these two responses. Research has linked childhood experiences to development of a general optimistic or pessimistic outlook. This study will evaluate the degree to which these concepts may be interrelated. It is hypothesized that: 1) Adults with little/no adversity in childhood will desire to have children, independent of their levels of optimism/pessimism; and 2) Adults who experienced childhood adversity will only desire children if they are high in levels of general optimism. Participants over 18, recruited by email and direct contact, will complete the Life Orientation Test (to determine level of optimism/pessimism) and the Childhood Family Experience Scale (with a few additional statements created by the researcher, to determine childhood experiences and adversities). The Personal Information Questionnaire used to divide participants into one of three groups relating to each Desire to have Children Questionnaire created by the researcher: Parent, Older-Non Parent, and Younger Non-Parent. Data collected for this study will occur in spring 2017. The results will be evaluated by review of correlations between the primary variables and using the analysis of variance. The first hypothesis will be supported if adults who had not experienced childhood adversity show a correlation to desire for children -independent of their level of optimism-pessimism. The second will be supported if those who experienced significant childhood adversity show significantly higher levels of optimism want children, and vice versa for those who do not.


Keywords


Desire to Parent; Adversity in Childhood; Optimism-Pessimism

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