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Childbearing in Cohabiting Unions: Racial and Ethnic Differences
Wendy D. Manning
Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 33, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 2001), pp. 217-223
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2673785
Page Count: 7
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Cohabitation, Children, Hispanics, African Americans, White people, Childbirth, Conception, Marriage, Birth, Statistical models
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Context: Cohabitation provides a two-parent family union in which to have and raise children outside of marriage. Little is known, however, about the conditions under which cohabiting couples conceive and decide to have children. Methods: The National Survey of Family Growth provides detailed data on the cohabitation and fertility histories of American women. Life-table techniques, event-history analyses and logistic regression were employed to understand the racial and ethnic differences in the timing of childbearing within cohabiting unions and whether childbearing within cohabiting unions is more acceptable to members of minorities than to whites. Results: In multivariate models, Hispanic women were found to be 77% more likely than white women to conceive a child in cohabitation and black women were 69% more likely than white women to do so. Among women who became pregnant while cohabiting, Hispanic women were almost twice as likely and black women were three times as likely as white women to remain co-habiting with their partner when their child was born. In addition, children born to Hispanic women in cohabiting unions were found to be 70% more likely to be intended than were those born to cohabiting white women. Conclusions: In terms of fertility, cohabitation does not maintain the same place in the American family system for all racial and ethnic groups. These racial and ethnic differences in fertility-related behavior are not explained by socioeconomic differences. Based on levels of childbearing during cohabitation, relationship status at time of birth and intention status of children, it appears that cohabitation is a more acceptable arena for family building among Hispanic women than among whites or blacks.
Family Planning Perspectives © 2001 Guttmacher Institute