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      Reexamining the Association of Maternal Age and Marital Status at First Birth With Youth Educational Attainment : Maternal Age at Birth and Youth Education

      1 , 2 , 3

      Journal of Marriage and Family

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="P1">Using data from the linked Children and Young Adult sample (N = 2,865) of the NLSY79, we reexamined the association of maternal age and marital status at birth with youth high school completion, assessing multiple age categories and race/ethnic variations. Youth born to older teen mothers were no more likely to graduate from high school than those born to the youngest teen mothers. Although delaying childbirth to young adulthood (age 20–24) was associated with greater odds of children’s high school completion compared to the earliest teen births, those born to young adult mothers were disadvantaged compared to those born to mothers age 25 or older. Being born to an unmarried mother was associated with lower odds of high school completion but this did not fully explain the estimated effect of maternal age at birth. We found no evidence that maternal age at birth more strongly predicted high school graduation for White compared to Latino or Black youth. </p>

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          Most cited references 34

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          Family Structure, Parental Practices and High School Completion

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            The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation

             Paul R Amato (2005)
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              Black/white differences in the relationship of maternal age to birthweight: a population-based test of the weathering hypothesis.

              This study seeks to explore if early health deterioration ('weathering') among young adult African American women contributes to observed increases with maternal age in the black/white disparity in birth outcome. Theoretically, 'weathering' is constructed as being a physical consequence of social inequality. Thus, we also examine whether African American mothers vary in their age trajectories of poor birth outcome with respect to social class. Black or white singleton first births to Michigan residents aged 15-34 in 1989 (N = 54,888 births) are analyzed, using data drawn from linked birth and infant death certificates augmented with census-based economic information. We find among blacks, but not whites, advancing maternal age above 15 years is associated with increased odds of LBW and VLBW. Among blacks in low-income areas, the odds of LBW increase 3-fold, and of VLBW 4-fold, between maternal ages 15 and 34. The findings suggest that African American women, on average, and those residing in low-income areas, in particular, experience worsening health profiles between their teens and young adulthood, contributing to their increasing risk of LBW or VLBW with advancing maternal age and to the black-white gap in this risk. The findings suggest the importance of comprehensive prevention strategies to improve the health of socioeconomically disadvantaged African American women prior to pregnancy and the reduction of social inequalities that impact health.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Marriage and Family
                Fam Relat
                Wiley
                00222445
                October 2016
                October 2016
                August 19 2016
                : 78
                : 5
                : 1252-1268
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Wisconsin-Madison
                [2 ]Cornell University
                [3 ]The Ohio State University
                Article
                10.1111/jomf.12360
                5198901
                28042174
                © 2016

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