Home > Events & News > Brown Bag Schedule . Archive

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Johnson says PSID's income, wealth, and consumption data allow synergistic research on material living standards

Brown: Evidence indicates increasing minimum wage has a modest negative impact on employment in the short term

Wagner and Heeringa study facets of suicide risk among US Army soldiers

More News


Call for Papers: PSID User Conference 2018: Child Wellbeing and Outcomes in Childhood, Young Adulthood, and over the Lifecourse

Martha Bailey elected to the Board of Officers of the Society of Labor Economists

Charlie Brown elected to the Board of Officers of the Society of Labor Economists

Patrick Kline wins SOLE's Sherwin Rosen Prize for "Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Labor Economics"

More Highlights

Next Brown Bag

More PSC brown bags, Fall 2018

Mother helps young daughter with homework

Unraveling the connection between unintended pregnancy and education

3/24/2017 feature story

Akilah Wise, Arline Geronimus, and Pamela Smock analyze the links between educational attainment, early education advantage, and unintended pregnancy.

More Information.

Arline T. Geronimus
Pamela Smock
Akilah Wise

Publication Information:

Wise, Akilah, Arline T. Geronimus, and Pamela Smock. 2017. "Best of Intentions: A structural analysis of the association between socioeconomic disadvantage and unintended pregnancy in a sample of mothers from the NLSY79." Women's Health Issues, 27(1): 5-13. PMCID: PMC5219931.

Births to less educated women are more likely to be classified as unintended than other births. We question a common interpretation that this association reflects a lack of contraceptive knowledge or self-efficacy among less educated women. Instead, we theorize that differences in early-life educational advantages structure pregnancy desires and the salience and opportunity costs of precise fertility timing, and that net of covariates indicative of early educational disadvantage, mothers with less education are *not* more likely to report births as unintended than mothers with more education. We analyze a sample of women in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979) who had their first births by 1994, testing whether an index measure of educational advantage in youth predicts unintended first birth. Unadjusted results confirm well-documented associations between educational disadvantage and greater likelihood of unintended pregnancy. However, once covariates are controlled, those with high educational advantage in youth are more likely to report their first birth as mistimed Our findings indicate that educational advantage captures expectations about how much education a young woman will obtain before giving birth and is a structural dynamic that precedes proximate factors related to family planning access and behaviors. These findings highlight the need to incorporate structural factors that condition perceptions of pregnancy intention in the study of unintended pregnancy and to critically reevaluate the conceptualization and interpretation of pregnancy intention measures.

Feature Archive.