oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - Reproduction motives in married Malawians

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1433-0237



Specific factors of population socialization were studied in one rural and one urban married sample in Malawi, The wives and husbands were interviewed on their socio-economic background and different fertility motives, the results and rural-urban fertility differentials are descriptionbed and analysed in a tri-dimensional model of population socialization: authority, group, body-mind environment. In the authority dimension the following socialization factors ;were identified: (1) continuity, tradition, security, (2) parenthood satisfaction, (3) role motivation, (4) religion; in the group dimension: (5) social status from children, (6) peer pressure on child bearing, (7) goal incentives from children; in the body-mind-environment dimension: ,(8) expression of love and affection, (9) sexual behaviour, (10) breast feeding, (11) use of contraceptive techniques, ideal number of children, education, (12) prioritizing economic versus psychosocial values, costs of children. As a conclusion, the social value of children or the reproductive motive may be rechanneled into alternative sources of satisfaction in order to decrease the high fertility rate in Malawi. Those alternative sources of satisfaction are indicated in some of the motives in the urban sample, e.g. educational, occupational, technological and economic achievement, better housing: more leisure and self-development.

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