Tabler, Jennifer (2016). Young adult women with eating disorders or disordered eating behaviors: delinquency, sexual risk taking and fertility in early adulthood. 2016 Add Health Users Conference.
There is a well-documented link between eating disorders (EDs), and female infertility. However, it is unknown how adolescent EDs or disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) influence overall parity in early adulthood. Using data from Add Health, this study compares the number of children born to women in early adulthood who in adolescence self-identify having an ED diagnosis or engaging in DEBs to their same-sex peers without ED or DEB, using multinomial logistic regression. This study also tests whether adolescent delinquency and sexual risk taking mediates the relationship between ED or DEB and parity in early adulthood. Results indicate that women with ED or DEB have significantly higher relative risk of having three or more children compared to no children in adulthood (relative risk ratio=1.27; p<0.05) than un-afflicted peers, even when we account for adolescent delinquency and risky sexual behaviors. Despite fertility complications commonly associated with EDs, women with EDs or DEBs are likely to have multiple children by early adulthood. Because early parenthood changes the socioeconomic opportunities available to women, additional research is necessary to understand how EDs or DEBs may be associated with childbearing.
2016 Add Health Users Conference
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