April 21, 2017

CSSRR Sociology–April 21, 2017

Filed under: S. Working Papers,Sociology — admin @ 4:16 pm

Center for Family and Demographic Research [Bowling Green State University] Working Papers:

A. “Better Late than Never? Post-Conception Union Formation and Stability,” by Karen Benjamin Guzzo (Working Paper 2017-04, 2017, .pdf format, 37p.).


Union formation following a non-union conception, and the stability of such unions, has received substantial research attention, as has union formation following a nonmarital birth. Yet work has rarely considered simultaneously the full spectrum of union formation behaviors following a non-union conception – forming a union before or after birth with the other biological parent or with a new partner – and these variations are almost certainly associated with union stability. In this paper, I use several waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) to analyze the likelihood of union formation among individuals with a first birth that was conceived outside of a coresidential union (N = 2,251), with attention to timing (pre- vs. post-birth) and partnership type (biological parent vs. new partner), and analyze subsequent union stability. The majority of mothers and fathers formed a coresidential union, with 29% forming a union prior to birth (12% of which are with a new partner) and 50% forming a union after birth (more than half of which are with the other biological parent). All unions formed after a conception are fairly unstable, but those formed prior to birth with the child’s other biological parent are least likely to dissolve, whereas those formed prior to birth with a new partner are most likely to dissolve. Further, timing matters – unions formed with the child’s other parent are more stable when formed prior to birth than after the birth. The results have implications for both policy and child well-being.


B. “The “Distal Determinants” of Fertility Identifying Underlying Constructs and Examining Race-Ethnic Variation,” by Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Sarah R. Hayford, Vanessa Wanner Lang, Hsueh-Sheng Wu, Jennifer Barber, and Yasamin Kusunoki (Working Paper 2017-03, 2017, .pdf format, 37p.).


The proximate causes of unintended fertility are clear. But the more distal factors that predict unprotected sex among those who do not want to conceive, and the uneven distribution of this behavior across race-ethnicity, are not well understood. In this paper, we propose that attitudinal indicators and reproductive knowledge measures that have been shown to be individually associated with unintended fertility can be drawn together under the umbrella concepts of fertility motivation and reproductive knowledge and may be useful in explaining race-ethnic variation in reproductive behaviors. We test this approach by applying multi-group confirmatory factor analysis drawing on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health. For both fertility motivation and reproductive knowledge, a three-construct factorial pattern best fit the data, but the structure of the patterns varied across race-ethnic groups. The results suggest that the factors identified for the full sample function differently across race-ethnicity and should not be used to explain race-ethnic variation in behavior.


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