Migration Background and the Risk of Adolescent Childbearing

Rachel E. Goldberg, Princeton University

This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to examine variation by immigrant generation and age at migration in the risk of experiencing an adolescent birth. It also investigates potential mechanisms for the relationship between migration background and adolescent childbearing. Preliminary results indicate that all adolescent girls with migration backgrounds face substantially lower risks of giving birth as teenagers than their third plus generation counterparts. Factors at the family level (intact structure and close family ties) and neighborhood level (social cohesion and immigrant concentration) are important in explaining this decreased risk. With regard to proximate determinants, for first generation girls who migrated after age 10, the relatively lower risk of teen childbearing is due largely to delayed sexual onset; for other immigrant girls, post onset factors like contraception are also important, suggesting that US socialization contributes to greater separation between sexual behavior and reproduction.

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 Presented in Session 100. Determinants of Fertility Timing