Volume 23 - Article 13 | Pages 365-398

Age, relationship status, and the planning status of births

By Sarah R. Hayford, Karen Benjamin Guzzo

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Date received:19 Mar 2009
Date published:13 Aug 2010
Word count:7997
Keywords:cohabitation, fertility intentions, fertility plans, fertility timing, marriage, nonmarital fertility


In the United States historically, births to older mothers have been more likely to be planned than births to younger mothers, and births to unmarried women have been less likely to be planned than births to married women. As the average age of mothers has increased and more births have occurred outside of marriage in the United States, the intersection of these trends may have weakened the traditional linkage between age and birth planning status. In this article, we examine differences by maternal age in planning status of births using The 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. We find that age is strongly associated with planning status, but the association is reduced in magnitude when controlling for relationship status and is stronger for first and second births than for higher-parity births. Further, the association between union status and the planning status of births varies by race-ethnicity.

Author's Affiliation

Sarah R. Hayford - Ohio State University, United States of America [Email]
Karen Benjamin Guzzo - Bowling Green State University, United States of America [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» From desires to behavior: Moderating factors in a fertility transition
Volume 26 - Article 20

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