The Effects of Changing Sociodemographic Factors on Teen Fertility

Anne Driscoll, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC

Family sociodemographic factors such as maternal education, mother’s age at first birth and family structure are strong predictors of teen births. The distribution of these factors has changed across birth cohorts. This study constructs five consecutive birth cohorts from three waves of the NSFG starting with those born from 1961 to 1965 through those born from 1981 to 1985. It examines how these factors have changed across cohorts and whether birth rates have changed within sociodemographic strata across cohorts. Maternal education increased while two-parent families have declined. It also examines the role of changes in these factors in the overall teen birth rate over time. Finally, it examines the size of the gap in teen birth rates between sociodemographic strata across birth cohorts and finds that they have remained stable across cohorts, suggesting that declines are due to sociodemographic changes rather than declines among those most at risk.

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Presented in Poster Session 3