Data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Surveys of Labor Market Experience of Youth are used to examine the extent to which group differences in early nonmarital childbearing are a function of normative differences in fertility intentions. It was found that, like adolescents and nonmarital childbearing, birth intentions do vary by race and ethnicity, poverty status, and family structure. However, although birth intentions significantly influence birth outcomes, they do not substantially reduce the effects of race and ethnicity, poverty status, or family background. Furthermore, the effect of intentions on birth outcomes is not significantly greater for more socially disadvantaged adolescents. (Author abstract modified)
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Adolescent Birth Intentions, Social Disadvantage, and Behavioral Outcomes.