The Role of Nurturant Schemas in Human Reproduction

  • Warren B. Miller


In this chapter, I summarize a previously developed theoretical framework (Miller & Rodgers, 2001) that integrates the biopsychodyadic factors affecting human bonding, with an emphasis on nurturant bonding. The central construct in this framework is that of the bonding schema. After describing the motivational substrate that underlies nurturant schemas, I then discuss the role that this substrate plays in human parenting, including the behaviors that anticipate and lead to bearing a child and those that occur in response to having and caring for a child.


autobiographical memory childbearing motivation conception intendedness conflict of interest motivational substrate nurturant schemas parental bonding parental satifaction parental role parenting behavior pregnancy wantedness procedural memory theory of mind 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bretherton, I., & Munholland, K.A. (1999). Internal working models in attachment relationships: A construct revisited. In J. Cassidy & P.R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (pp. 89–111). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  2. Darling, D., & Steinberg, J. (1993). Parenting style as context: An integrative model. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 487–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Maccoby, E.E., & Martin, J.A. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. In E. M. Hetherington (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: and social development (4th ed., pp. 1–101). New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. Maestripieri, D. (1999). The biology of human parenting: Insights from nonhuman primates. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 23, 411–422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. McClelland, D.C., Koestner, R., & Weinberger, J. (1989). How do self-attributed and implicit motives differ? Psychological Review, 96, 690–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Miller, W.B. (1986). Proception: An important fertility behavior. Demography, 23, 579–594.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Miller, W.B. (1992). Personality traits and developmental experiences as antecedents of childbearing motivation. Demography, 29, 265–285.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Miller, W.B. (1994). Childbearing motivations, desires, and intentions: A theoretical framework. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 120, 223–258.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Miller, W.B. (1995). Childbearing motivation and its measurement. Journal of Biosodal Science, 27, 473–487.Google Scholar
  10. Miller, W.B., Feldman, S. S., & Pasta, D.J. (2002). The effect of the nurturant bonding system on child attachment. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  11. Miller, W.B., & Pasta, D.J. (2000). Early family environment, reproductive strategy, and contraceptive behavior: Testing a genetic hypothesis. In J. L. Rodgers, D. C. Rowe, & W. B. Miller (Eds.), Genetic influences on human fertility and sexuality: Theoretical and empirical contributions from the biological and behavioral sciences. (pp. 183–235). Boston: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Miller, W.B., & Pasta, DJ. (in press). The motivational substrate of unintended and unwanted pregnancy. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research.Google Scholar
  13. Miller, W.B., Pasta, D.J., MacMurray, J., Chiu, C., Wu, S., & Comings, D.E. (1999). Genetic influences in childbearing motivation: A theoretical framework and some empirical evidence. In J. J. Severy & W. B. Miller (Eds.), London: Jessica Kingsley. Advances in population: Psychosocial perspectives, Vol. 3 (pp. 53102). London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  14. Miller, W.B., Pasta, D.J., MacMurray, J., Muhleman, D., & Comings, D.E. (2000). Genetic influences on childbearing motivation: Further testing a theoretical framework. In J. L. Rodgers, D. C. Rowe, & W. B. Miller (Eds.), Genetic influences on human fertility and sexuality: Theoretical and empirical contributions from the biological and behavioral sciences (pp. 33–66). Boston: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  15. Miller, W.B., & Rodgers, J.L. (2001). The ontogeny of human bonding systems: Evolutionary origins, neural bases, and psychological manifestations. Boston: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  16. Piaget, J. (1971). Biology and Knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Povinelli. D.J. (1993). Reconstructing the evolution of mind. American Psychologist, 48, 493–509.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Squire, L.R., & Knowlton, B.J. (1995). Memory, hippocampus, and brain systems. In M.S. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The cognitive neurosciences (pp. 825–837). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren B. Miller

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations