Friday, August 03, 2012

Research project: A study of the experiences of voluntarily childless men and women

Here's a survey we've been approached to participate in.
Feel free to have a look and give it a go if you feel like it.
Let me know what you think of it.
Thanks David

----- Forwarded Message -----

Subject: Research project: A study of the experiences of voluntarily childless men and women

Research project:  A study of the experiences of voluntarily childless men and women.
The life pathways that lead people to choose to remain voluntarily childless or childfree are varied and diverse. Childless individuals include both men and women who have very distinct life stories and a wide range of reasons for remaining childfree. However, this diversity of motivations and experiences is often not reflected in media and other social discussions of voluntary childlessness, and childless/childfree people are often described in terms of narrow, simplistic, and often negative stereotypes. My Honours research project aims to challenge these stereotypes and to highlight the variety of real life experiences of men and women who have elected not to become parents.
Through this research I aim to highlight the diverse range of life experiences of childless/childfree people. I would like to know about how you reached your decision to remain childless/childfree and how you feel about it now, how you see your decision as having influence other aspects of your life and your identity, and how others have reacted to your decision. I believe this information is useful in understanding how society perceives childless/childfree people. I aim to have the completed research published in the academic literature, while maintaining anonymity of all participants. Through publishing this work a contribution will be made to better understanding the diversity of childless/childfree people.
Although I am keen to include the responses of as many childless/childfree people as possible, I am of course aware that this can be a sensitive issue for many people. The survey will ask you to reflect on your own experiences of being childless/childfree as well as other people’s reactions to this.  If you feel that this might be upsetting for you, then it may be best that you don’t participate in this survey. If you would like to discuss any issues that have been brought up for you by this topic, you can access telephone counseling via Lifeline Australia, ph 13 11 14.
If you would like to participate in the survey, please click on the link below.  It will direct you to the online survey which will invite you to respond to several open-ended questions as well as a set of demographic questions. This may take between 10 minutes to 30 minutes to complete depending on the length and detail of your answers. You are of course free to skip any question that you would prefer not to answer, and can elect to end your participation at any time. I am very interested in what you have to say on the matter and how being child free has shaped your life. If you are able to help and participate in this research please complete the survey at the link here
On completion of the survey as a token of appreciation should you wish to leave your contact details you will be entered into a prize draw to win a $50 Myer voucher which will be drawn at the end of the research process. If you choose to enter the draw, your contact information will be stored separately from your responses to the survey. Information about the findings of the study will be posted on the School of Psychology website in November 2012: (http://www.psychology.  
If you have any questions or require any further information regarding the study either prior to undertaking the survey or after completing the survey I can be contacted at or alternatively my supervisor, Associate Professor Ngaire Donaghue, can be contacted at
If you are aware of anybody else who may be able to assist with the research and complete this survey it would be greatly appreciated if you could forward this email to them. Your contribution to this research is much appreciated.
Nicola Metcalfe
This study has been approved by the Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval 2012/120). If you have any reservation or complaint about the ethical conduct of this research, and wish to talk with an independent person, you may contact Murdoch University’s Research Ethics Office (Tel. 08 9360 6677 (for overseas studies, +61 8 9360 6677) or e-mail Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated fully, and outcomes of the study will be published on the Murdoch research page.


  1. I forwarded this to my facebook fans and they tell me the survey link does not work!

  2. I am looking into it.
    Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Hi David

    There have been a few technological issues with the Murdoch server as consequence there has had to be an update to the survey link.

    The new link is here: Child Free Survey

    My email address has also been out of action and hopefully I can get this fixed today. In the mean time feel free to use this email address or contact my supervisor Ngaire Donaghue with any issues or concerns that people may have. I will also email Laura with the updated link.

    Apologies for any confusion this may have caused and thanks for your patience.
    nicola metcalfe


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