The Childbearing Questionnaire (CBQ)

The Childbearing Questionnaire (CBQ) is a 49 item measure designed to assess childbearing motivation. This instrument contains two sections which measure two broad motivational dispositions: Positive Childbearing Motivation (PCM) and Negative Childbearing Motivation (NCM).


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


Section 1: Positive Childbearing Motivation

Joys of pregnancy, birth, and infancy
1. Feeling a baby move and kick inside me (my wife).
2. Giving my husband (wife) the satisfaction of father (mother)hood.
3. Giving (helping my wife give) birth to a baby 4. Breast (bottle) feeding a baby.
5. Holding and cuddling a baby.
6. Devoting myself and much of my time to raising children and being a mother (father).

Traditional parenthood.
7. Having a child who will carry on my family traditions.
8. Being the center of a large, active family.
9. Strengthening our marriage through a child.
10. Fulfilling my religious feelings about family life.
11. Providing my parents with a grandchild.
12. Fulfilling my potential by having children.

Satisfactions of child rearing
13. Having my child be a success in life.
14. Playing with my child.
15. Having my child contribute to society.
16. Guiding and teaching my child.
17. Sharing child raising with my husband (wife).
18. Experiencing the special love and closeness that a child provides.

Feeling needed and connected
19. Feeling needed and useful through my baby.
20. Having my child provides me with companionship and support later in life.
21. Having a helpless baby to love and protect.
22. Feeling more complete as a woman (man) through my baby.
23. Living a fuller, more enriched life through my child.

Instrumental values of children
24. Knowing that I am fertile.
25. Having my family and friends admire me with my baby.
26. Having a son.
27. Having a daughter.

Response Options
The respondent is asked to rate the positive consequences of having a child on a 4-point Likert scale.

Very - 1
Moderately - 2
Slightly - 3
Not - 4

Section 2: Negative Childbearing Motivation
Discomforts of pregnancy and childbirth
28. Experiencing (seeing my wife experience) the discomforts of pregnancy.
29. Experiencing (seeing my wife experience) the pain of childbirth.

Fears and worries of parenthood
30. Having an unhappy and poorly adjusted child.
31. Worrying about the health and safety of my child.
32. Having a baby who is born deformed.
33. Worrying whether I am raising my child the right way.
34. Having a child who embarrasses or disgraces the rest of the family.
35.Feeling guilty or inadequate as a parent.

Negatives of child care
36. Being kept from my (having my wife being kept from her) career or job by a baby.
37. Being responsible for a needy and demanding baby.
38. Spending time and energy involved in childcare.
39. Having to put up with the mess and noise that children make.
40. Burdening our family finances with a child.
41. Taking care of a baby who is disagreeable and irritating.
42. Taking care of a sick child.
43. Having a baby who takes away my freedom to do other things.

Parental stress
44. Straining our marriage with a baby.
45. Having a baby who strains my (wife's) health.
46. Having a child who is a burden to my husband (wife).
47. Having a child makes it necessary for me (my wife) to have a job.

48. Giving our first child a brother or sister.

49. Having a baby takes away from how much I can give my other child.

Response Options
The respondent is asked to rate the negative consequences of having a child on a 4-point Likert scale.

Very - 1
Moderately - 2
Slightly - 3
Not - 4

Scoring Procedures

Scores are calculated by averaging the scores of all items contained within each subscale.

Original Citation

Miller, W. B. (1995). Childbearing motivation and its measurement. Journal of Biosocial Science, 27(4), 473-487.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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