Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Epidemiology & Community Health

First Advisor

Saba Masho


Introduction: Teen pregnancy and teen parenting are prevalent and significant public health issues. Teen parenting also has many social and economic consequences for mother and family. Single parenthood is associated with increased financial, work and child care strains compared to a more traditional family type. Therefore, the impact of teen pregnancy on marital status needs to be investigated. This study examines the association between teen parenthood and future marital status. Methods: The 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle 6 was analyzed. This study included 12398 women age 20 – 44 years who had children. Teen parenthood was defined as age at first birth before the age of twenty. Marital status was dichotomized as married and other marital status. Exposure and outcome variables were examined using logistic regression modeling. Results: Women who had a child before age twenty were less likely be married compared to women who had a child at age 20 or older (OR = 2.30 [95% CI = 2.01, 2.64]). After adjusting for race, education, age at first sex and intendedness of the pregnancy, women who had a child before age 20 were less likely to be married or stay married compared to women who had a child at age 20 or older (OR = 1.35 [95% 1.19, 1.62]). Conclusions: Teen parents are less likely to be married or stay married later in life. Teens should be informed that teen parenthood is a significant risk factor for single parenthood later in life. Future studies should examine all levels of marital status as an outcome of teen parenthood. Future studies should also examine this association among fathers.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010

Included in

Epidemiology Commons