Original paper

Childlessness in old age - an anthropological approach to a current problem



The amount of aged and old aged people is increasing markedly in all industrialized nations as well as in many developing countries.Additionally to the increasing life expectancy,a trend towards voluntary childlessness is observable.This trend will not only result in a continuing change of the population structure,it will also result in several individual problems of the aged population caused by childlessness.In the present paper the possible effects of voluntary childlessness on quality of life during old age are discussed from an anthropological point of view.


Childlessnessold agequality of lifereproductive behaviordemographic transition