MAT 540 Statistical Concepts for Research
Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in U.S.
Trends in nonmarital childbearing in the U.S. have increased steadily since 1970 for non-Hispanic white, Black, Hispanic, and Asian women across all age groups (Wildsmith, Steward-Streng, and Manlove, 2011). Windsmith et al (2011) stated that the rise in the number of children being born outside of marriage among all ethnic and age groups is linked to the increase in cohabitation. Delays in marriage have increased nonmarital birth rates; the median age at first marriage is 26 years for women with the median age for first birth being 25 years (Wildsmith, Berger, Manlove, Barry, McCoy-Roth, 2012). A review of previous studies and literature indicates a need to look at the relationship between nonmarital childbirth and delays in marrying and the increase in cohabitation.
Statement of the Problem
The increase in nonmarital births over the last 40 years, relates to the decline in marriage and an increase in couples cohabiting. Increases in nonmarital births results from many factors, including substantial delays in marriage (Ventura, 2009). Out of wedlock, childbearing has increased among all women of reproductive age and among all racial and ethnical groups in our population (Ventura, Bachrach, Hill, Kaye, Holcomb, & Koff,, 1995). Nonmarital childbearing is not synonymous with single parenting; much of the increase in nonmarital births across all countries is attributed to changes in cohabitation (Manlove, Ryan, Wildsmith, & Franzetta, 2010). The percentage of nonmarital births occurring to cohabiting couples increased from 29 percent in the early 1980s to 39 percent in the early 1990s and more recent estimates suggest almost 50 percent of nonmarital births for the early 2000s (Manlove, Ryan, Wildsmith, & Franzetta, 2010). Most nonmarital births occur to women in their
References: Gray, J.A., Stockard, J. & Stone, J. (2006). The rising share of nonmarital births: Fertility choice or marriage behavior? Demography 43(2) 241-253 Kiernan, K Manlove, J., Ryan, S., Wildsmith, E., & Franzetta, K. (2010). The relationship context of nonmarital childbearing in the U.S. Demographic Research 23 (22), 615-654 Martin, J., Hamilton, B., Ventura, S., Osterman, M., Wilson, E., & Mathews, T.J Sawhill, I. (2006) Teenage sex, pregnancy, and nonmarital births. Gender Issues, 23(4), 48-59 Upchurch, D., Lilliard, L