Monthly Archive for June, 2013

New Data: Unintended Childbearing/Abortion Psychology

What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions?
Joshua Lang | New York Times
June 12, 2013
This reports on the Turnaway Study [described below], but as is typical with a piece in the popular press it personifies the data. Here’s the gist of the article:

Most studies on the effects of abortion compare women who have abortions with those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term. It is like comparing people who are divorced with people who stay married, instead of people who get the divorce they want with the people who don’t. Foster saw this as a fundamental flaw. By choosing the right comparison groups — women who obtain abortions just before the gestational deadline versus women who miss that deadline and are turned away — Foster hoped to paint a more accurate picture. Do the physical, psychological and socioeconomic outcomes for these two groups of women differ? Which is safer for them, abortion or childbirth? Which causes more depression and anxiety? “I tried to measure all the ways in which I thought having a baby might make you worse off,” Foster says, “and the ways in which having a baby might make you better off, and the same with having an abortion.

The Turnaway Study
ANSRH | University of California, San Francisco
The Turnaway Study is ANSIRH’s prospective longitudinal study examining the effects of unintended pregnancy on women’s lives. The major aim of the study is to describe the mental health, physical health, and socioeconomic consequences of receiving an abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. From 2008 to 2010, we collaborated with 30 abortion facilities around the country—from Maine to Washington, Texas to Minnesota—to recruit over 1,000 women who sought abortions, some who received abortions because they presented for care under the gestational limit of the clinic and some who were “turned away” and carried to term because they were past the gestational limit.

Family Demography in the News

Below is a compilation of posts about family formation and childbearing. The last piece is less on marriage and childbearing and instead focuses on the “mom penalty” in academia.

How to Live in a World Where Marriage Is in Decline
Philip Cohen | The Atlantic
June 4, 2013
This piece examines trends in marriage over time in the US and discusses the policy implications of this to the “marriage movement” promoters.

Rising Trend of Births Outside Marriage
Carl Haub | Population Reference Bureau
April 2013
This short piece examines international trends and concludes “What we can say for certain is that this new household structure is quite unlikely to revert to times past.”

Autumn of the Patriarchs: Traditional demographic patterns are changing astonishingly fast
The Economist
June 1, 2013
This is another international piece, based on statistics from Latin America. It shows trends in fertility rates and childlessness. And it is based on research by our old friend Ron Lesthaeghe and colleagues.

Marriage: More than a Century of Change
Julissa Cruz | National Center for Marriage and Family Research
June 2013
This is a very nice resource based on data from the US Census, American Community Survey, and the Vital Statistics system. It shows trends in marriage rates for women from 1890 to 2010.

Recent Trends in Births and Fertility Rates Through December 2012
Brady Hamilton and Paul Sutton | CDC
June 2013
The recent decline in fertility rates may have reached bottom.

Births Rise as Parents-to-Be Renew Confidence in Economy
Stephanie Armour | Bloomberg News
June 6, 2013
Based on the CDC report, U.S. birth-rate increase a sign of growing confidence in the economy

The Mom Penalty
Colleen Flaherty | Inside Higher Education
June 6, 2013
Do babies matter to academic careers? (Spoiler alert: for moms, “yes.”) based on Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower

Imagining a Census Survey Without a Mandate

This is an update to a May 17th post on challenges to the American Community Survey’s mandatory response status via a House Bill [H.R. 931] introduced by Ted Poe, (R, TX):

Imagining a Census Survey Without a Mandate
Carl Bialik | Wall Street Journal (Blog post)
June 5, 2013
This piece mentions to former ISR researchers: Leslie Kish’s role in the move away from a decennial census to the ACS and Bob Groves’ on the currency of the ACS data. However, it mostly focuses on the statistical issues, which a voluntary ACS would introduce.

Census Gets Questions on Mandatory Queries
Carl Bialik | Wall Street Journal
March 30, 2012
Old article, but the issues are the same.

The Census’s 21st-Century Challenges
Carl Bialik | Wall Street Journal (Blog)
July 30, 2010
This piece talks about Canada’s foray into a voluntary census, which we’ve also covered. A good source for quotes about response bias.