Father Childbearing Intentions: Comparing Mother-Proxy vs. Father Self-Reports

Lina Guzman, Child Trends
Jennifer Manlove, Child Trends
Erin Schelar, Child Trends

Using data from the ECLS-B, we examine how father childbearing intentions vary by source of report comparing mother-proxy and father self-reports. We examine the factors associated with mother’s accuracy in reports of father’s childbearing intentions, and how mother’s accuracy varies across relationship type and race/ethnicity. We find that, in general, mothers overestimate the extent to which pregnancies are intended by fathers, and underestimate the extent to which pregnancies are unintended. The percent of pregnancies that are unwanted by fathers almost doubles when we use father self- vs. mother proxy- reports. We also find that mother’s accuracy varies by whether or not they perceive the father intended the pregnancy. The results also indicate that white and married mothers are more likely to accurately report father's intentions than their counterparts. The study adds to the body of research recognizing the importance of measuring male reproductive behaviors.

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Presented in Poster Session 5