Do Teenage Mothers have Larger, more Complex Families?

Ann Evans, Australian National University

Literature on the consequences of teenage motherhood is focused primarily on economic consequences for young mothers and their children. However, early motherhood impacts subsequent fertility and family formation patterns also. Studies of fertility in lower fertility settings find that earlier age at first birth is associated with higher completed parity. Additionally, relationships that start early are more likely to fail, leading to higher chance of re-partnership and children from multiple fathers. This paper examines the impact of teenage motherhood on subsequent fertility and relationship experience. Using data from an Australian longitudinal survey (HILDA) this paper uses propensity score matching to determine the effect of teenage motherhood directly on outcomes such as: number and paternity of subsequent children, and, marriage and cohabitation patterns. By comparing women within birth cohorts this paper finds that the more marginalised teenage mothers become the greater their difference from older mothers.

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Presented in Poster Session 7