• Black women;
  • pregnancy;
  • HIV infection;
  • desire for children;
  • self-esteem

Purpose: To determine the relationship among self-esteem, self-efficacy, and desire for children, and to contrast these concepts between Black women with and without HIV infection.

Design: Correlational analysis.

Methods: A nonrandom sample of 98 Black women, 52 HIV positive and 46 HIV negative, recruited from an American inner-city health center, completed four questionnaires: the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the General Self-Efficacy Subscale, a modified Index of Parenthood Motivation, and a background information sheet. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, zero-order correlations, and multiple regression techniques.

Findings: Increased self-esteem and self-efficacy were positively correlated with desire for children in both HIV infected and uninfected Black women. No significant difference in the intensity of desire for children was found between uninfected Black women and HIV-infected Black women. The combination of age, number of previous abortions, and strength of religious belief was a better predictor of desire for children than was self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Conclusions: Variables other than HIV status were significantly correlated with desire for children among these low-income Black women with and without HIV infection.