Complicating Pregnancy Intention: Early Educational Advantage and Likelihood of Unintended Births

Akilah Wise, University of Michigan

Several studies have highlighted the importance of studying contextual factors that are relevant to pregnancy intention patterns. I hypothesized that the role of educational quality and opportunity may place women on divergent fertility trajectories, resulting in differential likelihood of unintended birth. Employing multinomial logistic regression and a novel index of educational advantage, I investigated whether educational advantages in youth are associated with pregnancy intention patterns of first births among a sample of women from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY 79). The index is composed of several indicators of early educational advantages. Surprisingly, I found that women with lower educational advantages were less likely to have first births classified as mistimed. Statistical significance of educational advantages remained after the inclusion of educational attainment, lending to the contention that early educational experiences influence later fertility trajectories through multiple pathways, not only through their association with educational attainment.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior