Intended and Unintended Childbearing among Cohabiting Women in the United States: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth
Casey E. Copen, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Gladys M. Martinez, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
William D. Mosher, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Joyce C. Abma, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Births to cohabiting women have increased dramatically over the past several decades. Research has focused on the meaning of cohabitation and childbearing decisions within these unions. We add to this literature by using the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to examine marital status at both conception and delivery, present trends in births to women in cohabiting unions, and shed light on the role pregnancy intentions have on marital or cohabiting status at birth. We analyze data from the 2002 and 2006-2010 NSFG to trace the rise in births within cohabiting unions. Descriptive analyses show that over half of cohabiting women have unintended births compared with 23% of married women. The percentage of cohabiting births that are unintended has remained about 50% since 2002; however, further analyses will reveal whether this percentage represents a change from a decade earlier.
Presented in Poster Session 6