Factors Associated with the Transition to Multiple Partner Fertility among Young Unmarried Parents

Jennifer Manlove, Child Trends
Mindy E. Scott, Child Trends
Erum N. Ikramullah, Child Trends

This paper uses recent nationally representative, longitudinal data to examine correlates of multiple-partner fertility among a recent cohort of young unmarried parents. We used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997, Rounds 1 – 11 (1997 – 2007), to examine the transition to multiple-partner fertility among 893 fathers and 1,331 mothers ages 14-27 who were unmarried at first birth. Using discrete time event history analyses, we found high rates of multiple-partner fertility among these disadvantaged parents. Multivariate results suggest that, among unmarried mothers, several individual factors (employment/enrollment, gang involvement, substance use, arrest history), as well as characteristics of the union and birth (cohabitation status, age at first birth, child’s age, subsequent children with first partner), and first birth partner (partner age and employment/enrollment status) are associated with multiple-partner fertility. Fewer factors are significant for unmarried fathers (not cohabiting at first birth, lower parental education and gang involvement in adolescence).

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Presented in Poster Session 3