Relationship Context of First Births to Men and Women in the United States

Gladys M. Martinez, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Anjani Chandra, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Stephanie J. Ventura, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC

In the last three decades there has been a dramatic increase in nonmarital births. Research has found that children who spend part of their childhood in single parent households are disadvantaged on a variety of educational, economic, social, and health outcomes compared with children in two parent households. As the proportion of men and women who have ever lived in cohabiting union increases, we see an increase in nonmarital births that occur within cohabiting unions. Children born into cohabiting unions may have better outcomes than children born outside of a union because they and their parents potentially have access to more resources. Using data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, we compare the characteristics of men and women by the relationship context of their first births: within marriage, within a cohabiting union, or outside of a union. We examine differences in relationship context by Hispanic origin and race.

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Presented in Poster Session 3