This supports the limited, mainly autobiographical literature, on loss and regret. It also refutes the unquestioned and widely believed assumption that women who choose not have children will live to regret it. For participants, the choice for motherhood was but one choice from a menu of many others. Their choice was for something more meaningful for them rather than a choice against motherhood. Consequently, participants had no reason to experience loss or regret. These findings also question the discourse, which implies that children will ensure care in older age. It presents a challenge to the myth that the family is a haven of happiness and support in an ever-changing world. Crucially, it supports calls for more inclusive policy making to address the care needs of all older people.
OâDriscoll, R. and Mercer, J. (2018), "Are Loneliness and Regret the Inevitable Outcomes of Ageing and Childlessness?", Sappleton, N. (Ed.) Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness (Emerald Studies in Reproduction, Culture and Society), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 173-191. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78754-361-420181008Download as .RIS
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