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Understanding nonmarital childbearing

The role of socio-economic background and ethnicity in Europe and North-America
PhD ceremony:Ms J.C. Koops
When:May 25, 2020
Start:16:15
Supervisors:prof. A.C. Liefbroer, prof. dr. A.M.H. (Anne) Gauthier
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
Understanding nonmarital childbearing

Through increased acceptance of having children outside of marriage and improved access to family planning, individuals in Western societies have more flexibility when it comes to family formation. But this does not mean that individuals make these decisions in complete isolation from others. This dissertation shows that the chance of experiencing a birth outside of marriage is influenced by ethnicity and socio-economic background. The research shows that in the UK, compared to the native British population, South Asian minorities are less likely to experience a first pregnancy outside of marriage. Instead, Caribbean minorities are more likely to experience a first pregnancy outside of a union and less likely to make a transition to a union during this pregnancy, as compared to the native British population. Furthermore, the research shows that those growing up with lower educated parents are more likely to have a first birth in unmarried cohabitation and are more likely to be single at the moment of the birth of their first child. The influence of parental education on partnership context at birth differs by country. The influence of parental education on births within unmarried cohabitation is stronger in countries where marriage is higher valued. The influence of parental education on single motherhood is stronger in countries where marriage is less valued and in countries with better access to family planning.