Birth Prevention Behavior among Mothers of Children with Disabilities

Maryhelen D. MacInnes, Michigan State University

Making use of data from the NHIS-NSFG matched data source, this study explores details of the fertility behavior of mothers whose children have disabilities, focusing upon their subsequent decisions about abortion, contraception and sterilization. Given the parenting challenges faced by mothers of children with disabilities, it should not be a surprise that these mothers often decide to forgo subsequent childbearing so as to dedicate their familial resources to meeting the needs of their child with a disability. Event history analyses indicate that these mothers are, in fact, at a lower hazard of having a subsequent birth than are otherwise similar mothers whose children do not have disabilities. Subsequent analyses further indicate that these mothers are also more likley to undergo a sterilization operation and to abort a subsequent pregnancy than are mothers whose children are healthy.

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Presented in Poster Session 5