Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. SD 4.9 Second and higher order births to teens

04/01/1997

Bearing a child during adolescence is associated with poor outcomes for young women and their children.62 Giving birth to a second child while still a teen further increases these risks.63 For teen mothers on AFDC, a subsequent birth during adolescence reduces the likelihood of getting off welfare.64 Yet recent analyses of nationally representative data indicate that in the two years following the first birth, teen mothers have a second birth at about the same rate as older mothers.65

In 1995, nearly one in every five births to teen mothers was a birth of second order or higher. The proportion of teen births that were second or higher order increased from 22 percent in 1980 to peak at 25 percent in 1991, and has since declined to a preliminary estimate of 21 percent in 1995. This pattern is evident across racial and ethnic groups and regardless of marital status (see Table SD 4.9).

Differences by Race. Births to black and Hispanic teens are more likely to be subsequent births than births to white teens. Preliminary estimates for 1995 indicate 26 percent of births to black teens, 23 percent of births to Hispanic teens, and 19 percent of births to white teens were second or higher order births.

Differences by Marital Status. A higher proportion of births among married teens are second or higher order than births to unmarried teens. In 1994, 26 percent of births to married teens were second or higher order, compared to 20 percent among unmarried teens.
 

Table SD 4.9  
Percentage of All Teen Births That are Second or Higher Order, by Marital Status and Race/Ethnicity of Mother: 1980, 1985, 1991, 1994 and 1995.

             
   
1980
1985
1991
1994
1995a
All Births
22
23
25
22
21
             
 Race/Ethnicity
  White
19
20
21
19
19
  Black
27
28
32
28
26
  Hispanic
20
25
26
23
23
  Other
22
25
25
23
22
             
 Marital Status
  Married
24
26
28
26
--
  Single
19
20
23
20
--
             
Note: aEstimates for 1995 are preliminary.  

Source: Ventura, S.J., Martin, J.A., Mathews, T.J., Clarke, S.C. "Advance Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1994." Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 44, No. 11, Supplement. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 1996; also previous issues of this annual report. Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics. Unpublished tabulations. Preliminary 1995 data from "Births and Deaths: United States, 1995." Monthly Vital Statistics Report. Vol. 45, No. 3, Supplement 2. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 1996. Calculations by Child Trends, Inc.

 

62 Moore, K.A., Myers, D.E., Morrison, D.R., Nord, C.W., Brown, B.B. and Edmonston, B. 1993. "Age at first childbirth and later poverty." Journal of Research on Adolescence 3(4):393-422 and Maynard, R.A. (ed). 1996. "Kids Having Kids: A Robin Hood Foundation Special Report on the Costs of Adolescent Childbearing." The Robin Hood Foundation. New York, NY.

63 Kalmuss, D. And Namerow, P.B. 1992. "The mediators of educational attainment among early childbearers." Unpublished manuscript. Columbia University, Center for Population and Family Health.

64 Moore, K.A. and Hofferth, S. 1978. "The consequences of age at first childbirth: Female headed-families and welfare recipiency". Working paper 1146-05. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

65 Moore, K.A., Morrison, D.R., Nord, C.W., and C. Blumenthal. 1993. "The consequences of early childbearing in the 1980s." Unpublished tables. Washington, DC: Child Trends, Inc.
 
 

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