Bachelor of Science
Cognitive & Experimental Science
Clinical & Counseling Psychology
Ian Madfes, PhD
This study evaluated the relationship between childhood maltreatment and feelings about parenting among adult females. It was hypothesized that women with a history of maltreatment during their developmental years would have less desire to have children than females of similar age who were not maltreated. The Childhood Maltreatment History and Desire to Have Children Questionnaires were completed by 51 females aged 20 years and older. Results indicated a statistically significant lower desire to parent among females with histories of Low and Severe childhood maltreatment than for females without such history. Further comparisons revealed the same pattern of findings when women were sub-grouped by age and present relationship status. It was concluded that a history of any severity or form of abuse might be associated with a lower desire to have children in adult females. This pattern was not related to the woman’s age nor the presence or absence of a current relationship.