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The purpose of this study was to investigate university students' motivation for parenthood related to their definition of parenthood, empathy and self-esteem. Participants were 447 junior and senior students (male 263, female 184) in 5 universities throughout Korea. Results were:(1) Male students and employed mothers were higher than female students and unemployed mothers' 'motivation for strengthening biological family ties' but there were reversed results in 'motivation for traditional norms.' Students majoring in home economics showed the highest score in 'altruistic-emotional motivation.' (2) There were positive correlations between motivation for parenthood and definition of parenthood and empathy. 'Motivation for traditional norms' correlated positively with self-esteem. (3) Motivations for parenthood were explained by about 4∼28% by their definition of parenthood, empathy, and self-esteem.