Perceived Parenthood: Cross-Cultural Differences Between Jewish and Arab Emerging Adults

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    This study of the influence of culture on emerging adults' perception of parenthood aims to compare perceptions in a traditional, conservative society (Arab) and those in a Western-oriented modern society (Jewish). The attitudes of Arab and Jewish students in Israel were examined regarding intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for parenthood and the cost of parenthood. Participants were 276 single, nonparent students, age 20-28 years. As hypothesized, the findings revealed that Jewish emerging adults expressed higher intrinsic motivation for parenthood and lower extrinsic motivation than their Arab counterparts and mentioned a later age as the preferred time for entering parenthood than did the Arabs. However, contrary to the hypothesis, the expected cost of parenthood was found to be higher among Arab female participants than among their Jewish counterparts. The findings are discussed against intercultural differences and reciprocal influences of societies with different orientations regarding collectivist and individualistic values, in the context of parenthood motivation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)12-19
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Adult Development
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2010


    • Cost of parenthood
    • Cultural differences between Arabs and Jews
    • Emerging adulthood
    • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in parenthood
    • Perceptions of parenthood


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