Jody Manggalaningwang, Alexandra Rianti Grandi Rahardjo, Denny Prasetya, Eva Reh Ulina Aritonang, Magda Sabrina Theofany Simanjuntak, Yuditha Franciska Ullyana


The decision to be childfree is a decision that is still considered to be anti-mainstream, so they are vulnerable to cynicism and public rejection. Individuals with identities that differ from generally accepted norms usually use social media as a medium for self-actualization. This study adopts a constructivist research paradigm and employs a narrative methodology involving in-depth interviews with six childfree participants. Thematic analysis was applied to the collected data. The study reveals that participants from diverse backgrounds share a common perspective on what constitutes a meaningful life, which differs from the prevailing societal norms in Indonesia. It highlights the importance of a well-defined self-concept in achieving psychological fulfillment among childfree individuals. Interestingly, social media serves primarily as a tool for sharing, networking, and dispelling misconceptions about the childfree lifestyle. Rather than seeking self-validation or actively promoting their choice, childfree individuals view social media to communicate the outcomes of their interactions with society. This study highlights the lives of individuals who choose to be childfree when using social media without hiding their identity as an effort to build respectful social relationships. Thus, childfree individuals interpret Instagram as only a medium for conveying the results of the interaction process with the environment, instead of self-validation.

Keywords: childfree; Instagram; self-actualization 

Full Text:



Aldida, V. I. (2023). Pernyataan Kontroversial Gita Savitri Soal Childfree yang Bikin Netizen hingga Artis Gemas.

Agrillo C., & Nelini C. (2008). Childfree by choice: A review. Journal of Cultural Geography, 25, 347–363.

Appel, G., Grewal, L., Hadi, R., & Stephen, A. T. (2020). The future of social media in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48(1), 79–95.

Ashburn-Nardo, L. (2017). Parenthood as a Moral Imperative? Moral Outrage and the Stigmatization of Voluntarily Childfree Women and Men. Sex Roles, 76(5–6), 393–401.

Avivi, A. (2017). Childfree Women Surviving the Pushback and Forming an Identity in the Internet Era. A Womb of Her Own: Women’s Struggle for Sexual and Reproductive Autonomy =-yp. 146-169

Blackstone, A. (2019). Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence. Penguin.

Blackstone, A., & Stewart, M. D. (2012). Choosing to be Childfree: Research on the Decision Not to Parent. Sociology Compass, 6(9), 718–727.

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 3. 77-101.

Brooks C. (2019). Meaning-making among intentionally childless women. Interpersonal Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 38(1), 140–153.

Buss, J., Le, H., & Haimson, O. L. (2022). Transgender identity management across social media platforms. Media, Culture & Society, 44(1), 22–38.

Cannon, Y., Speedlin, S., Avera, J., Robertson, D. L., Ingram, M., & Prado, A. (2017). Transition, Connection, Disconnection, and Social Media: Examining the Digital Lived Experiences of Transgender Individuals. Journal of Lgbt Issues in Counseling, 11(2), 68–87.

Caputo, V. (2007) She’s from a ‘good family’: Performing childhood and motherhood in a Canadian private school setting. Childhood 14: 173–192.

Cavalcante, A. L. B. (2016). “I Did It All Online:” Transgender identity and the management of everyday life. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 33(1), 109–122.

Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2008). Personality: Theory and Research. 10th edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Corbett, L. (2018). Other than Mother: The Impact of Voluntary Childlessness on Meaning in Life, and the Potential for Positive Childfree Living. International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, 7(2).

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. SAGE.

Doyle, J., Pooley, J. A., & Breen, L. J. (2012). A phenomenological exploration of the childfree choice in a sample of Australian women. Journal of Health Psychology, 18(3), 397–407.

Etikan, I., Musa, S. A., & Alkassim, R. S. (2016). Comparison of convenience sampling and purposive sampling. American journal of theoretical and applied statistics, 5(1), 1-4.

Ford, J., G. (1991). Rogerian self-actualization: A clarification of meaning. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 31(2). 101-111.

Hanandita, T. (2022). Konstruksi masyarakat tentang hidup tanpa anak setelah menikah. Jurnal Analisa Sosiologi 11(1), 126-136.

Harrington, R. M. (2019). Childfree by Choice. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 20(1), 22–35.

Helm, S., Kemper, J. A., & White, S. L. (2021). No future, no kids–no kids, no future? Population and Environment, 43(1), 108–129.

Höglund, B., & Hildingsson, I. (2023). Why and when choosing child-free life in Sweden? Reasons, influencing factors and personal and societal factors: Individual interviews during 2020–2021. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, 35, 100809.

Ismail, N. A., & Tekke, M. (2015). Rediscovering Rogers’s Self Theory and Personality. Journal of Educational, Health and Community Psychology, 143-150.

Lazard, L. (2022). Digital mothering: Sharenting, family selfies and online affective-discursive practices. Feminism & Psychology, 32(4), 540–558.

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. SAGE.

Maurer, M. M., & Daukantaité, D. (2020). Revisiting the Organismic Valuing Process Theory of Personal Growth: A Theoretical Review of Rogers and Its Connection to Positive Psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 11.

McAlpine, L. (2016). Why might you use narrative methodology? A story about narrative. Estonian Journal of Education. 4(32).

McQuail, D. (2010). Mass Communication Theory. Sage Publications.

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. 2nd edition. SAGE.

Moen, T. (2006). Reflections on the Narrative Research Approach. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(4), 56–69.

Moore, J. E. (2014). Reconsidering Childfreedom: A Feminist Exploration of Discursive Identity Construction in Childfree LiveJournal Communities. Women’s Studies in Communication, 37(2), 159–180.

Morison, T., Macleod, C., Lynch, I., Mijas, M., & Shivakumar, S. T. (2016). Stigma Resistance in Online Childfree Communities. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 40(2), 184–198.

Mosher, W. D., & Bachrach, C. A. (1982). Childlessness in the United States. Journal of Family Issues, 3(4), 517–543.

Neuman, W. L. (2021). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 8th edition. Pearson.

Padgett, D. (2017). Qualitative methods in social work research. SAGE.

Parlak, S., & Tekin, I. (2020). A Phenomenological Study on Voluntarily Childless Women. Psikoloji Çalışmaları - Studies in Psychology. Advance Online Publication.

Pebley, A. R., & Bloom, D. (1982) “Childless Americans.” Amer. Demographics 4, 1: 18-21.

Rogers, C. R. (1961). On Becoming a Person: A psychotherapists view of psychotherapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Ruegemer, A. M., & Dziengel, L. (2022) Why did they have children? Rural midlife women who are childfree. Journal of Women & Aging, 34(5), 551-566,

Sandelowski, M. (1991). Telling Stories: Narrative Approaches in Qualitative Research. Image--the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 23(3), 161–166.

Smith, I. W., Knight, T., Fletcher, R., & Macdonald, J. A. (2020). When men choose to be childless: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 37(1), 325–344.

Soemanto, R. B. (2014). Sosiologi Keluarga. In: Pengertian dan Ruang Lingkup Sosiologi Keluarga. Universitas Terbuka, Jakarta. ISBN 9789790114302

Stahnke, B., Blackstone, A., & Howard, H. (2020). Lived Experiences and Life Satisfaction of ChildFreeWomen in Late Life. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 28(2), 159-167.

Strapagiel, L. (2021). Please Stop Asking Me Why I’m Not Having Children. Refinery29.

Sumanto (2006). Kajian psikologis kebermaknaan hidup. Buletin Psikologi, 14(2), 115-135. ISSN: 0854-7108

Suri, H. (2011). Purposeful sampling in qualitative research synthesis. Qualitative Research Journal, 11, 63-75.

Tessarolo, M. (2006). Il Movimento Childfree. Rivista di Studi Familiari, 11, 47–58

To, S. ming, So, Y. yan, & Chan, T. sam. (2014). An exploratory study on the effectiveness and experience of a parent enhancement group adopting a narrative approach. Journal of Social Work, 14(1), 41–61.

Utamidewi, W., Widjanarko, W., Abidin, Z., & Nayiroh, L. (2022). When spouse decide to be childfree: Are they happy without child?. Proceeding 2nd International Conference Science (ICCS 2022).

Van Dijck, J. (2013). You have one identity: Performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture & Society 35: 199–215.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

View My Stats