Effects of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood on high school dropout
D. K. Anderson
This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to explore the effect of fertility on high school dropout, and differences in that effect by age at first birth. Fertility is conceptualized as a series of states: pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and motherhood. Pregnant students and mothers are much more likely to drop out than students who are not pregnant or mothers. Models including a wide variety of controls for social background, ability, schooling factors, and adolescent behaviors show that the net effects of pregnancy and motherhood on dropout are substantively and statistically significant. The effects of fertility on dropout are strongest for the youngest students.
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