CitationGuzzo, Karen Benjamin & Hayford, Sarah R. (2017). Adolescent fertility attitutes and childbearing in early adulthood. Bowling Green State University Center for Family and Demographic Research Working Paper Series.
AbstractHigh levels of teenage childbearing in the United States has spurred extensive research, with a substantial body of work examining the linkage between adolescents’ perceptions of the costs and benefits of teen childbearing and the subsequent risk of a teen birth. In this literature, which finds that negative attitudes are associated with lower risks of teen fertility, teens’ attitudes are viewed primarily as reflecting the life course consequences specific to having a child as a teenager. In this paper, we argue that attitudes toward pregnancy and childbearing measured in adolescence are indicative of broader schemas about childbearing. To illustrate this argument, we examine the long-term association of adolescent fertility attitudes with childbearing in adulthood. Using Waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we predict first birth timing and future fertility plans, finding that adolescent attitudes are indeed related to adult fertility. While more negative attitudes at Wave I predict later first birth timing, they are unrelated to planned childlessness among those who have not yet had children by Wave IV. These findings suggest that adolescent attitudes do indeed reflect cultural schemas about the meanings of, and appropriate context for, childbearing that are established early in the life course.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleBowling Green State University Center for Family and Demographic Research Working Paper Series
Author(s)Guzzo, Karen Benjamin
Hayford, Sarah R.