a1 Department of Psychology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia
The present study of 329 Australian and 281 Papua New Guinean (PNG) high school youth compared students' perceptions of the economic role of children, the importance of personal aspirations, evidence of support for the conjugal family and for cultural props. As predicted, the economic role of children was more important to PNG students, and considerably less so to young Australians. Predicted differences in personal aspirations were less clear cut, but young Australians cited more frequently the restrictions and economic costs in having children. In addition, Australians emphasized more than PNG students the pleasure, pride, fulfilment and achievement in having children. As expected in a low fertility country, Australian students mentioned more often the love and companionship of children, although students in both countries had similar views about the impact of children upon the marital relationship. Lineage and religious benefits from children were more salient to PNG youth.
(Received October 07 1982)