Choosing to Be Childfree: Exploring the Experiences of Black, Hispanic, and Latina Women

Melda Sibel Uzun, Fordham University


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore Black, Hispanic, and Latina women's experiences of being childfree and to gain an understanding of the social, emotional, and psychological consequences of being childfree in the context of our current society and their cultural and familial contexts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 Black, Hispanic, and/or Latina women identifying as childfree. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed, following a phenomenological qualitative approach. Analysis of interview transcripts yielded 11 major themes and 29 minor themes. The major themes reflected (a) societal, cultural, and family expectations, (b) childfree decision process, (c) what it means to be childfree, (d) reactions from family, (e) unwelcome and/or inappropriate perceptions and reactions from others, (f) supportive or welcome reactions from others, (g) psychological and emotional consequences, (h) methods of coping, (i) impact on relationships, (j) impact on work life, and (k) what it means to be a woman today. Each major theme was comprised of minor themes (descriptive subthemes). These themes and subthemes are described and discussed in the context of existing literature, and a textural-structural composite description is presented. Clinical and social justice implications for medical and mental health professionals are outlined. Finally, study limitations are explained and recommendations for future research are made.

Subject Area

African Studies|Counseling Psychology|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Uzun, Melda Sibel, "Choosing to Be Childfree: Exploring the Experiences of Black, Hispanic, and Latina Women" (2018). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10841096.