Sex Roles

, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 501–512

Gender-role orientations in older child-free and expectant couples

  • Kristine M. Baber
  • Albert S. Dreyer

DOI: 10.1007/BF00287450

Cite this article as:
Baber, K.M. & Dreyer, A.S. Sex Roles (1986) 14: 501. doi:10.1007/BF00287450


Psychosocial aspects of variant fertility decisions were investigated to determine factors that differentiate individuals who chose to become parents for the first time after age 30 and their peers who chose to remain child free. Forty women, aged 30 to 38, half of whom were child free and half expecting their first child, and 34 of their husbands were interviewed and completed the Role Questionnaire. The pattern of data suggests that the relatively traditional gender-role orientations of the expectant individuals may be an important factor that discriminates the two groups. The Rapoports' concept of “identity tension line” is used to integrate the results of the study and to explore findings that indicate different degrees of traditionalism in regard to work and family roles.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristine M. Baber
    • 1
  • Albert S. Dreyer
    • 2
  1. 1.Family and Consumer StudiesUniversity of New HampshireUSA
  2. 2.Human Development and Family RelationsUniversity of ConnecticutUSA