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Edin and Shaefer's book a call to action for Americans to deal with poverty

Weir says pain may underlie rise in suicide and substance-related deaths among white middle-aged Americans

Weitzman says China's one-child policy has had devastating effects on first-born daughters


MCubed opens for new round of seed funding, November 4-18

PSC News, fall 2015 now available

Barbara Anderson appointed chair of Census Scientific Advisory Committee

John Knodel honored by Thailand's Chulalongkorn University

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Dec 7 at noon, 6050 ISR-Thompson
Daniel Eisenberg, "Healthy Minds Network: Mental Health among College-Age Populations"

psc brown bag iconRelationship Dynamics and Pregnancy: Seriousness, Instability, and Partner Change

Jennifer Barber (Department of Sociology and Research Professor, Population Studies Center and Survey Research Center), Yasamin Kusunoki (Assistant Research Scientist, Population Studies Center and Survey Research Center), Heather Gatny (Research Associate, Institute for Social Research)

10/24/2011, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

This paper uses data from the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life (RDSL) project. Using longitudinal data from a weekly survey of 1,000 young women spanning 2.5 years (130 weeks), we examine the types of relationships that lead to pregnancy. We focus on the dynamics of these relationships, specifically examining three dimensions (time spent together, commitment, and cohabitation) during four time periods (current week, past month, entire history with current partner, and history with prior partners). Time-intensive and/or committed weeks, months, and relationships are associated with a higher pregnancy rate than other weeks, months, and relationships. In addition, having a history of committed and/or cohabiting relationships with prior partners is associated with pregnancy, net of the current relationship’s character. The first week with a new partner (but not getting back together with a prior partner) is associated with over three times higher odds of pregnancy. Further, changes in seriousness (i.e., instability) increase pregnancy risk. For example, the first week a respondent considers her relationship “committed” is associated with nearly four times higher odds of pregnancy than relationship weeks that remain “uncommitted.” Finally, a history of instability in terms of cohabitation – moving in and out with prior partners – is associated with an increased risk of pregnancy. Overall, our analyses suggest that understanding both seriousness and instability, and particularly the ways they operate independently and in tandem, are important pieces of the puzzle of early pregnancy.

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