Factors Influencing the Context of Non-Marital Childbearing

Maggie Ledwell, Pennsylvania State University

The context of childbearing has become increasingly diverse in the United States, contributing to an increase in the number of “fragile families”. Although existing research points to the rising incidence of childbearing within cohabitations as a major reason for this increase (Bumpass & Lu, 2000; Kennedy & Bumpass, 2008), births also occur in other types of nonmarital unions. This paper aims to examine factors which may influence the residential context of women’s first non-marital birth – those occurring in cohabiting and visiting romantic relationships. Using detailed birth and relationship history data from waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), logistic regression models were estimated to predict the residential relationship context of women’s first non-marital birth. Several individual and couple-level characteristics were examined in order to better understand the relationship context of births that occur outside of marital unions.

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Presented in Poster Session 6