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Pensando familias

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SILVA, Isabela Machado da  and  FRIZZO, Giana Bitencourt. To have or not to have?: A literature review about voluntarily childless couples. Pensando fam. [online]. 2014, vol.18, n.2, pp. 48-61. ISSN 1679-494X.

This article presents a narrative review of national and international studies about voluntarily childless couples. It discusses the concept of "voluntarily childlessness", the decision not to have children according to the perspective of the couple, the marital relationship in this context, the individual and family life cycle of those couples, as well as their relationship with the social network. Studies on the topic have questioned some preconceived ideas about these couples: they would not present major difficulties in their marital relationships and they would not be psychologically more vulnerable than couples who chose to have children. Note that the option for not having children is a complex decision and it exerts a potential impact on the development of the marital relationship. Voluntarily childless couples comprise a diverse group with regard to the reasons underlying this decision and the way in which they deal with it.

Keywords : Family relations; Family structure; Family planning; Marriage; Childfree couples.

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