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The Demography of Early Parenthood Kathryn Edin Harvard University Laura Tach University of Pennsylvania Northeastern University January 16, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "The Demography of Early Parenthood Kathryn Edin Harvard University Laura Tach University of Pennsylvania Northeastern University January 16, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Demography of Early Parenthood Kathryn Edin Harvard University Laura Tach University of Pennsylvania Northeastern University January 16, 2011.

2 Source: Men and women over age 24 in National Survey of Family Growth, Table1. Proportion Becoming Parents By Age 24

3 Diverging Destinies (McLanahan 2004)

4

5

6 Becoming a Parent

7 Source: Men and women over age 24 in National Survey of Family Growth, Proportion Becoming Parents By Age 24, by Race

8 Source: Men and women over age 24 in National Survey of Family Growth, Education measured at time of interview. Proportion Becoming Parents By Age 24, by Education

9 Continued…..

10 McLanahan, Diverging Destinies

11

12 Nonmarital Childbearing is the Norm Source: Men and women over age 24 in National Survey of Family Growth,

13 Early Relationship Challenges Source: Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey, Mothers who are 24 or younger at time of child’s birth. Married at Birth Unmarried at Birth

14 Relationships Before Conception are Short-Lived Source: Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey. Question is “How long have you known baby’s father?” Pregnancy duration is estimated as 9 months. Sample restricted to first births only.

15

16 Parents Rally Together and are Optimistic at Time of Birth % of Young Unmarried Parents Father Visited Mother In Hospital 74.7% Father Provided Financial Support During Pregnancy 73.5% Mother’s Predicted Likelihood of Marriage – “Certain” 52.9% Mother’s Predicted Likelihood of Marriage – “50/50” 27.4% Source: Baseline wave of Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey. Mothers 24 or younger at child’s birth.

17 Most Children Are Born Into a Two-Parent Family Context Source: Baseline wave of Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey.

18 Five Years Later

19 Source: Baseline wave & 5-Year Follow-up of Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey. Mothers age 24 or younger at child’s birth. Proportion of Young Mothers Still In Relationship With Father by Child’s 5 th Birthday

20 Source: Baseline wave & 5-Year Follow-up of Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey. Mothers age 24 or younger at child’s birth. Sample restricted to mothers whose relationships with focal child’s father has ended. Young Mother’s Rates of Subsequent Re-Partnering by Child’s 5 th Birthday

21 Source: All waves of Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey, mothers 24 or younger at child’s birth. Sample restricted to mothers who have ended relationship with focal child’s father.

22 Source: Baseline wave & 5-Year Follow-up of Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey. Mothers age 24 or younger at child’s birth. Sample restricted to mothers who’s relationships with focal child’s father has ended. Young Mother’s Rates of Subsequent Childbearing with New Partners by Child’s 5 th Birthday

23 Mother’s Number of Subsequent Children with New Partners Source: All waves of Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey, mothers age 24 or younger at child’s birth. Sample restricted to mothers who have ended relationship with focal child’s father.

24 % of Nonmarital Children in Different Family Types by Child’s 5 th Birthday Family Type by Child’s 5 th Birthday % ____________________________________________________________ Stable Fragile Family Single Mother Fragile Family 4.41 Unstable/Complex Fragile Family Unstable Only 9.79 Complex Only Both Unstable and Complex ____________________________________________________________ N = 3,181. Weighted using national sampling weights. Mothers’ and fathers’ transitions are counted.

25 Lessons Learned? There are no single mothers! Instability and Complexity, not Single Motherhood, is the dynamic we should worry about.

26 – 40% of births are now nonmarital – Nearly 8 in 10 of these are EITHER unstable or complex – Nearly ½ are BOTH unstable and complex! – 35% of American children will experience either instability or complexity by age 5. – 20% of American Children, mostly already disadvantaged by virtue of parental SES, are in families that are BOTH unstable and complex by age 5. How Many Kids are Affected?

27 What do Complex and Unstable Families Look Like

28 A Fragile Family

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30 Father-Child Contact in Past Month, by Years Since Parents’ Romantic Relationship Ended Source: Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Survey. Mothers asked whether father saw child in past month.


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