The economic impact of nonmarital childbearing: How are older, single mothers faring?

E. Michael Foster, Damon Jones, Saul D. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

During recent decades, the rate of nonmarital childbearing among women aged 20 and older has increased steadily. Despite this increase, little is known about the economic status of the women involved and how it compares with that of their married counterparts or of teen mothers. This study examines the experiences of a sample of women drawn from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics; it assesses the economic situation of these women before and after giving birth. In general, the economic situation of older, single mothers is closer to that of teen mothers than that of married childbearers the same age. The results presented here also reveal substantial variation among older, single mothers. In particular, we find that these women fare better when they are White, 25 years old and older, did not begin having children as teenagers, or are cohabiting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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