Trajectories of Unintended Fertility

  • Sowmya Rajan
  • S. Philip Morgan
  • Kathleen Mullan Harris
  • David Guilkey
  • Sarah R. Hayford
  • Karen Benjamin Guzzo
Article

Abstract

Having an unintended birth is strongly associated with the likelihood of having later unintended births. We use detailed longitudinal data from the Add Health Study (N = 8300) to investigate whether a host of measured sociodemographic, personality, and psychosocial characteristics select women into this “trajectory” of unintended childbearing. While some measured characteristics and aspects of the unfolding life course are related to unintended childbearing, explicitly modeling these effects does not greatly attenuate the association of an unintended birth with a subsequent one. Next, we statistically control for unmeasured time-invariant covariates that affect all birth intervals, and again find that the association of an unintended birth with subsequent ones remains strong. This persistent, strong association may be the direct result of experiencing an earlier unintended birth. We propose several mechanisms that might explain this strong association.

Keywords

Unintended fertility Selection Life course State dependence 

Supplementary material

11113_2017_9443_MOESM1_ESM.doc (300 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 301 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sowmya Rajan
    • 1
  • S. Philip Morgan
    • 2
  • Kathleen Mullan Harris
    • 3
  • David Guilkey
    • 4
  • Sarah R. Hayford
    • 5
  • Karen Benjamin Guzzo
    • 6
  1. 1.Carolina Population CenterUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology, Carolina Population CenterUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Sociology, Carolina Population CenterUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of Economics, Carolina Population CenterUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.Department of SociologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  6. 6.Department of SociologyBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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