Although prior research demonstrates that residence in a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood increases young women's risk of bearing a child out of wedlock, few studies have explored the sequence of events accounting for this relationship. Analyzing data from the National Survey of Children using a multivariate nested logit model, the authors find that community socioeconomic status has little effect on the likelihood that unmarried adolescent women will become pregnant but that premaritally pregnant adolescents in poor communities are less likely than those in wealthier neighborhoods to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy. Thus, differences in premarital fertility rates across neighborhoods of varying socioeconomic status appear to result largely from differences in abortion rates. Compared to White women, Black women are more likely to become premaritally pregnant and less likely to marry before childbirth. Parent's education reduces premarital fertility rates both by reducing rates of premarital pregnancy and by increasing the likelihood of abortion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)