Teenage Fathers’ Resources and Co-Residence and Child Outcomes: Evidence from a New National Survey

Stefanie F Mollborn, University of Colorado at Boulder
Peter J. Lovegrove, University of Colorado at Boulder

Nationally representative quantitative research has rarely examined how early parenthood affects teenage fathers’ children. Specifically, what resources do teenage fathers provide to their children compared to those that adult fathers provide, and how does resource provision differ by adolescent fathers’ residential status? What are the developmental outcomes of children born to a teenage father? The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, which collected data when children born in 2001 were about 9 months and 2 years old, is used to address these questions. Comparisons show that teenage fathers’ children have significantly fewer resources than their counterparts with adult fathers in several key areas, including income, child support, coresidence, household SES, home environment, and mothers’ parenting quality. Children born to teenage fathers have worse outcomes in terms of weight at birth and behavior and cognitive development at age 2. The influence of teenage fathers’ coresidence is weaker and mixed but sometimes beneficial.

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Presented in Session 27: Fathers in Families and Child Well-Being