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Motivation to have a Child Scale (MCS)

This scale aims to measure individuals’ motivation for becoming parents. The scale is an adaptation of the Motivation to have a Child Scale (MCS; Gauthier et al., 2007), which was developed to assess the quality of motivation to have a child. Although the original MCS was a promising measure to assess motives for parenthood, some of the correlations between the types of motivation were not fully in line with the simplex-like structure expected on the basis of SDT (Gauthier et al., 2007). Therefore, Brenning et al. (2015) made a couple of adaptations to further optimize the instrument. The resulting measure includes 20 items (see below) rated on a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (do not agree at all) to 5 (strongly agree). Each item is presented with the introductory stem “An important reason for me to have a child is . . .” Depending on the research interests, the questionnaire can be administered before, during or after pregnancy, in both women and men.


Main Questionnaire


(2015) Journal of Family Psychology

What’s your motivation to be pregnant? Relations between motives for parenthood and women’s prenatal functioning

Brenning, K. Soenens, B. Vansteenkiste, M.

(2007) European Review of Applied Psychology / Revue Européenne de Psychologie Appliquée

Construction et validation de l'échelle de motivation à avoir un enfant (EMAE) [Construction and validation of the Motivation to have a Child Scale (MCS)]

Gauthier, L. Senecal, C. Guay, F.