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Risk Factors for Teenage Fatherhood

Terence P. Thornberry, Carolyn A. Smith and Gregory J. Howard
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 59, No. 3 (Aug., 1997), pp. 505-522
DOI: 10.2307/353942
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353942
Page Count: 18
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Risk Factors for Teenage Fatherhood
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Abstract

The study of teen parenthood has become almost synonymous with the study of teen mothers, but relatively little research attention has been devoted to the study of teen fathers. Nevertheless, because it appears that becoming a teen father has negative developmental consequences for both the teen father and his children, it is an important area of inquiry. This article uses data from the Rochester Youth Development Study, an ongoing panel study of urban youth, to identify early risk factors for the likelihood of becoming a teen father. The study is well suited to this task because the prevalence of teen fatherhood in this sample is quite high, and the project has collected extensive data in a range of developmental domains. We found teen fatherhood to be related to a variety of risk factors, such as social class, educational performance, precocious sexual activity, and drug use. Perhaps most important is the finding that teen fatherhood is strongly related to the cumulation of risk factors across many domains.

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