Pregnancy Unwantedness by Fathers and Child Behavior

Nina Palmo, University of Texas at Austin

Pregnancy unwantedness is associated with a host of risk factors and negative outcomes for children. However, most research in this area focuses on mothers’ reports of pregnancy unwantedness and little is known about the effects of pregnancy unwantedness by fathers on subsequent child well-being. I use data from the Fragile Families Study (N=3,187) to examine the association between the suggestion of abortion by fathers and child behavior at age three. I examine the extent to which father involvement mediates the association between suggested abortion and child behavior and the extent to which the association may be driven by antecedent factors such as parental resources and relationship quality. Results show that the association is largely driven by differences in parental relationship quality and status. Parental resources have only a small effect on child behavior, net of background characteristics.

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Presented in Poster Session 1