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Parenthood, Life Course Expectations, and Mental Health

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Title: Parenthood, Life Course Expectations, and Mental Health
Creators: Carlson, Daniel
Advisor: Williams, Kristi
Issue Date: 2009-04
Abstract: Although past research indicates that births at young ages and births prior to marriage may negatively affect parents’ mental health, little is known about the role personal expectations for first birth timing and sequencing have in shaping these associations. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79), I examine how personal expectations in young adulthood for first birth timing and sequencing condition the associations between age at first birth, pre-marital first births, and parents’ mental health. I also examine whether the conditioning effects of expectations vary by race/ethnicity. Results indicate that, in most cases, the relationship between age at first birth, pre-marital first births, and mental health varies according to whether first birth timing and sequencing violates personal expectations for the transition into parenthood, however, these effects are not universal. The conditioning effects of expectations differ for African-Americans compared to non-Hispanic whites.
Embargo: No embargo
Series/Report no.: 2009 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 23rd
Keywords: Parenthood
Mental Health
Life Course
Expectations
Pre-marital births
age at first birth
Description: Social and Behavioral Sciences; Social Work; Law: 2nd Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/37302
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