The purposes of the study are to investigate Koreans’ perspectives and values on becoming a parent and child-rearing, to identify and explain changes in parental values over the years, and to provide implications for policy and research.
Questionnaires were conducted with a total of 1,000 adults sampled nation-wide by gender and age through 20s to 50s regarding their values on children and child-rearing. In addition, single parents and voluntary childless couples were surveyed and a total of 8 focus group interviews were conducted in order to supplement surveys. In particular, survey results were compared with those of the study undertaken by Korea Institute of Child Care and Education (KICCE) in 2008.
Major features of Koreans’ values on becoming a parent and child-rearing were shown different in terms of gender, age, and the number of children of respondents. Koreans perceived that child-rearing as a serious financial burden and parental financial capability was considered most important requirement to be a good parent. Compared to the past, Koreans valued children’s academic achievement less and social competence and personality more. It is posited that parental self-esteem of Koreans needs to restored by demystifying underlying values beyond financial capability. Based on the findings, a range of policy strategies and topics for further research were suggested.