Volume 39 - Article 41 | Pages 1081–1104
Late-life health effects of teenage motherhood
|Date received:||22 May 2017|
|Date published:||16 Nov 2018|
|Keywords:||depression, Europe, motherhood, self-rated health, teenage childbearing|
Background: Teenage motherhood has been associated with a host of adverse outcomes over the life cycle. Less, however, is known about the impact of teenage motherhood on health later in life.
Objective: To study the impact of teenage motherhood on late-life health, using a retrospective survey of almost 12,000 women aged 50+ from 13 European countries containing detailed information on early-life circumstances.
Methods: We develop linear models of the association between teenage motherhood and late-life health outcomes. We control for early-life factors parametrically as well as through propensity score matching. In addition, we employ recently developed methods to derive consistent lower-bound estimates for the causal impact of teenage motherhood on late-life health outcomes.
Results: We find that teenage mothers experience substantially poorer self-reported late-life health and are more likely to display depressive symptoms than nonteenage mothers. This result remains after controlling for early-life as well contemporaneous socioeconomic conditions.
Contribution: We exploit recently developed empirical techniques to derive consistent lower bounds of the causal impact of teenage motherhood on health later in life using a cross-national survey of early-life and contemporaneous socioeconomic conditions.
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