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Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

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Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

William Axinn photo

The Long-Term Impact of Parents' Childbearing Decisions on Children's Self -Esteem

Publication Abstract

Axinn, William, Jennifer S. Barber, and Arland Thornton. 1998. "The Long-Term Impact of Parents' Childbearing Decisions on Children's Self -Esteem." Demography, 35(4): 435-443.

We examine the long-term impact of parents' childbearing decisions on children's self-esteem. We focus on subjective aspects of the home environment in the creation of children's internalized sense of self-worth. Unique 23-year family panel data combining measures of mothers' childbearing, mothers' childbearing intentions, and children's self-esteem allow us to examine the overall links between parents' childbearing and children's self-esteem. The results demonstrate that parents' childbearing intentions can have a significant long-term impact on their children's self-esteem. Children who were unintended by their mothers have significantly lower self-esteem 23 years later. Our findings indicate that giving birth to an unintended child can have a long-term negative impact on subjective aspects of the child's well-being, at least in terms of self-esteem. Unintended childbearing has received an increasing amount of research attention in recent years.

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