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The Consequences of Premarital Fatherhood

Steven L. Nock
American Sociological Review
Vol. 63, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 250-263
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657326
Page Count: 14
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The Consequences of Premarital Fatherhood
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Abstract

Little is known about the consequences of premarital fatherhood. Few never-married fathers live with their children. Nevertheless there are good reasons to expect that these men's lives are influenced by their paternity. For example, men who experience premarital births are less likely to marry and more likely to cohabit, both of which are associated with lower levels of socioeconomic attainment. I use the first 15 years of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine the socioeconomic consequences of premarital fatherhood. Results based on hazards models and fixed-effects analyses suggest that men who have children before marriage leave school earlier, have lower earnings, work fewer weeks per year, and are more likely to live in poverty than comparable men who did not father children before marriage. These consequences of premarital fatherhood are partially the result of self selection effects, although many such effects appear to be caused by delayed marriages and/or higher rates of cohabitation.

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