The Intendedness of Childbearing: Taking a Closer Look at its Meaning

Lina Guzman, Child Trends
Jennifer Manlove, Child Trends
Kristin Moore, Child Trends

Studies on the intendedness of births suggest that cohabitation may resemble a marriage-like status for Hispanics to a larger extent than other racial/ethnic groups. This study provides a portrait of recent births among Hispanics, Whites, and Blacks examining reports of intendedness from mothers and fathers in marital, cohabiting, and nonmarital, noncohabiting unions using recently released data from the ECLS-B. Factors associated with the intendedness of births, including individual, partner, and family characteristics, will be explored through multivariate analyses. Data from qualitative interviews with cohabiting low-income Hispanic parents will be used to further explore whether cohabiting unions is viewed as an appropriate context for childbearing and the degree to which cohabiting unions are seen as marriages without the legal certification. Lastly, intendedness measures will be cognitively tested to assess the extent to which they are interpreted as intended, capture the underlying domain, and are appropriate for use with a Hispanic population.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility, Family Planning, Reproductive Health