Childbearing and quality of life decisions for women in Taiwan

Shu-Ling Chen, Linda Katherine Jones, Merv Jackson


Taiwan has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and is predicted to lead to zero population growth. This study aimed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the personal, social and cultural factors influencing Taiwanese women’s motherhood decision making.

Semi structured interviews from first time mothers and theoretical sampling were applied to recruit participants from an antenatal clinic in a large metropolitan hospital from Taipei, Taiwan until data saturation was achieved with 34 women. A number of categories were identified from the data with this paper presenting only the category of “childbearing and the quality of life”. Under this category a number of factors were identified that contributed to the decision on whether to have children. This included the couple’s financial circumstances, existing pressure from living expenses, childbearing is costly and having children in a responsibility.

Childbearing and quality of life was identified from the data as a crucial factor influencing participant’s decision making choices to have children. This was because women wanted to maintain a certain quality of life and needed to then ascertain how much this would be influenced by having children. It is becoming clear that economic development specifically related to materialistic values, has negatively influenced the value people place on having children. Encouraging a return to traditional Taiwanese values as well as orienting people away from materialistic values maybe a way to turn the fertility rate around.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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