People who had a secure family upbringing are more likely to become parents, a new study says.

Parents Are More Likely To Have Had A Secure Childhood Than Childless People.

People who had a secure family upbringing are more likely to become parents, a new study says.

The research, presented at academic conferences in London and Manchester shows that in people aged over 50, that compared to parents, people who were childless were significantly more likely to report of having an anxious .

Dr Robin Hadley, Mrs Chloe Newby, and Dr John Barry, carried out the online survey in June 2017.  In total 394 people, 237 Men and 157 women, aged over 50 years old,  gave their views on parenthood and childlessness.  The average age of the participants was 77 years. The study found that people who were childless by circumstance were less happy than parents and people who were childless through medical or other reasons.

This study has two major findings. First, it is the first to highlight the link between the psychological impact of childhood relationships and childlessness in later life. These findings have implications for our understanding of the impact of early-years’ experience into later life. Second, the findings support recent research that shows that men want to be a parent as much as women.

Dr Barry says, “This study is important because it shows how early relationships impact in all future relationships and impact of reproductive intentions and outcomes.”
Dr Hadley stated, “This study shows that men want to be fathers – it challenges the myth that men are not interested in fatherhood.”


Dr Robin Hadley, leading expert on male childlessness and ageing. Independent consultant and one of the founders of the leading campaign group Ageing Without Children:

Dr John Barry, leading psychologist on men’s mental health and wellbeing. University College
London Honorary Fellow and one of the founders of the Male Psychology Network.

Mrs Chloe Newby, Male Psychology Network analyst and independent tutor.

Notes for editors:
The results of the study have been published in a peer reviewed academic journal:
Hadley, Robin A, Chloe Newby, and John A. Barry. 2019. ‘Anxious childhood attachment predicts childlessness in later life’, Psychreg Journal of Psychology, 3: 7-27:
The results of the study have been presented at the following international Academic Conferences:
Society of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, The University of London, 4th-6th September, 2019

The British Society of Gerontology, The University of Manchester, 4th – 6th July , 2018
Male Psychology Conference, University College London, 21st – 22nd June, 2018

Dr John Barry: Website:  Email:
Dr Robin Hadley: Website: Robin Hadley Email: click here for contact page