Different Facets of Attitudes Towards Having Children: The Procreation Attitude Scale (PrAttS)


  • Tristan Marhenke
  • Roland Imhoff


The attitudes towards children are more complex than simple positive/negative distinctions. In the present study, we sought in two studies (N = 445) to provide a tool to explore different facets of attitudes towards babies and procreation by developing and validating a questionnaire regarding attitudes towards procreation. Study 1 was conducted to develop an English language scale tapping into adults’ attitudes toward having offspring. A larger number of statements were formulated that expressed an emotional value and motivational attitudes towards having babies. The sample consisted of n = 157 participants. Participants’ responses were subjected to a preliminary principal components analysis with an oblique rotation. Study 1 obtained a relatively economical scale to tap into three facets of attitudes toward having children. Study 2 sought to validate a German language version of the same scale as in the previous study. A total of n = 288 participants were recruited. The 13 items of the scale were subjected to a confirmatory factor analysis. Study 2 confirmed the three-dimensional structure. The Procreation Attitude Scales (PrAttS) consists of 13 items representing three underlying dimensions: (1) unconditional positivity, (2) anticipated annoyance and (3) contingent willingness. The present investigations showed twice a gender difference in emotional attitudes, revealing that women have a stronger emotional interest in procreation and babies. The PrAttS provides an explicit method of interest for children, providing an alternative to more recently criticized implicit measures.