When Does Baby Make Three? The Influence of Pregnancy Intentions on Marital Transitions
Isaac Maddow-Zimet, Guttmacher Institute
Laura Lindberg, Guttmacher Institute
Kathryn Kost, Guttmacher Institute
Pregnancy intentions impact social as well as health outcomes. We used data from the 2004-2008 Oklahoma Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) and The Oklahoma Toddler Survey (TOTS) from 2006-2010 to examine associations between pregnancy intentions and changes in marital status between conception, birth and age two. Intention status was associated with mothers’ transitions into and out of marriage, in both analyses unadjusted and adjusted for maternal characteristics using propensity scores. Among women married at conception, those with an unwanted birth were more than twice as likely as those with an intended birth to separate or divorce by the time their child was two years old. Among women unmarried at conception, those with an unwanted birth were about half as likely as those with an intended one to be married two years later. Mistimed pregnancies, regardless of extent of mistiming, were not significantly associated with marital dissolution or stability.