Much research explores the nature and consequences of childbearing by unmarried young women, but few works investigate the characteristics of the men who father children with these women. This study uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to describe the economic, social, and behavioral capacities of men who have children with unwed young mothers (ages 18-21). It compares these men to others who have children with women who are older than 21, as well as with those who are married. Findings suggest that the partners of single young mothers are more likely than the partners of other women with children to have been incarcerated, to abuse their partners physically, and to have substance abuse problems. They are less likely to work or attend school than are other fathers. Difference-in-differences techniques consider the potential beneficial effects of marriage but locate few clear benefits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science