Pathways to Young Fatherhood in the United Kingdom

Maria C. Huerta, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

In recent years research has begun to examine the experiences of young fathers and this has provided good evidence that early fatherhood is selective of men of disadvantaged backgrounds. Young fathers are more likely to come from poorer families, to have had low educational achievements during childhood, and to have experienced family disruption. However, the experience, timing, and duration of these adverse childhood experiences are all likely to be important. Using data from a 1970 cohort of British men, this paper considers the timing of events explicitly - in early childhood, pre-adolescence and adolescence. Our preliminary findings suggest that parental resources have a significant effect on the onset of early fatherhood. This study also shows that, regardless of when they are measured, educational test scores are linked to early childbearing. In contrast, behavioural attributes have a greater effect on young fatherhood at older ages, particularly during adolescence.

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Presented in Session 163: Transition into Fatherhood