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Fam Plann Perspect. 1984 Jul-Aug;16(4):157-62.

Out-of-wedlock births, premarital pregnancies and their effect on family formation and dissolution.

Abstract

The persistent rise in the proportion of firstborn babies conceived out of wedlock, which characterized the period from the 1950s to the early 1970s, has apparently abated, according to data analyzed from the June 1980 and June 1982 Current Population Surveys (CPS). Although the proportion increased from 16 percent of firstborn children among women 15 years and older in the 1950-1954 period to 34 percent in the 1970-1974 period, it subsequently declined to 31 percent in 1975-1979, and has remained at that level. Since 1970, approximately 68 percent of firstborn children among teenage women have been conceived outside of marriage, four times the level recorded during the same period among women aged 20 and older. In addition, more than 90 percent of firstborn babies among black teenagers have been conceived out of wedlock, compared with about 60 percent among white teenagers. Among women aged 20 and older, about 50 percent of firstborn babies of black mothers and approximately 13 percent of firstborn babies of white mothers have been conceived outside of marriage. Despite the recent overall stability in the proportion of first babies conceived out of wedlock, a notable decline has occurred in the likelihood of mothers to marry before the birth of the child. Between the 1950-1954 and the 1970-1974 periods, about 50 percent of all women who had an out-of-wedlock pregnancy married before the birth; this proportion has since fallen below 40 percent.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

PIP:

The Persistent rise in the proportion of 1st-born babies conceived out of wedlock, which characterized the period from the 1950s to the early 1970s in the US, has apparently abated, according to data analyzed from the June 1980 and Jane 1982 Current Population Surveys. Although the proportion increased from 16% of firstborn children among women 15 years and older in the 1950-1954 period, it subsequently declined to 31% in 1975-1979, and has remained at that level. Since 1970, approximately 68% of firstborn children among teenage women have been conceived outside of marriage. In addition,, more than 90% of firstborn babies among black teenagers have been conceived out of wedlock, compared with about 60% among white teenagers. Among women aged 20 and older, about 50% of firstborn babies of black mothers and approximately 13% of firstborn babies of white mothers have been conceived outside of marriage. Despite the recent overall stability in the proportion of 1st babies conceived out of wedlock, a notable decline has occured in the likelihood of mothers to marry before the birth of the child. An analysis of the probability of a 1st marriage subsequent to an out-of-wedlock birth indicates that among single women who gave birth in 1975-1979, 19% married within 1 year and 36% within 3 years of the child's birth. Between 1950 and 1979, marriage after childbearing was found to occur most rapidly among women 18-19 years old at the 1st birth and about twice as rapidly among white as among black women. Women whose 1st child had been conceived or born out of wedlock experienced significantly higher rates of marital disruption than did women who had not been pregnant or mothers at the time of their 1st marriage. The ralative marital instability experienced by women who married while pregnant or after having a child is matched by their economically disadvantaged position. These women tended to have low educational levels.

PMID:
6489509
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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