Relationship between personality traits and childbearing in an African context: Evidence from Ghana

  • Ibrahim Mohammed University of Professional Studies, Accra Ghana
  • Wassiuw Abdul Rahaman University of Ghana
  • Edward Nketiah-Amponsah University of Ghana
Keywords: childbearing, reproductive fitness, number of children, Big-five factor model, Curiosity, Novelty


This paper provides empirical evidence on the
association between personality and childbearing in
an African context using the dimensions of the Big
Five factor model - extraversion, conscientiousness,
neuroticism, openness to experience and
agreeableness. Applying the negative binomial and
zero-inflated negative binomial regression models
to data obtained from the World Bank’s survey on
Skills toward Employment and Productivity (STEP)
for Ghana, we found that after controlling for age,
education, spouse and employment status, three of
the personality traits, namely conscientiousness,
openness to experience and agreeableness, have
significant associations with number of children.
Openness to experience is negatively associated
with number of children in both males and females.
However, conscientiousness and agreeableness are
negatively and positively associated with number of
children respectively but only in the male sample.
Extraversion and stability were not significantly
associated with number of children even when the
models were estimated without the control variables