Parenting in Vain? Stepfather Influences on Early Transitions to Parenthood
Kara Joyner, Bowling Green State University
Julie H. Carmalt, Cornell University
Rachel Dunifon, Cornell University
Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997, we examine the influence of resident fathers’ parenting style on early transitions to parenthood. Results differ by gender and for those living with biological vs. stepfathers. We find, overall, fewer family-based predictors of early parenthood for boys, compared to girls, and for those living with a stepfather, compared to those living with a biological father. For girls, having an uninvolved mother or an authoritarian father is associated with an increased risk of early parenthood, but only for those living with a biological father. For boys, there were no effects of maternal parenting style on early parenthood. However, having an uninvolved biological father was associated with an increased risk in early fertility, while the opposite effect was observed for stepfathers, such that having an uninvolved stepfather was associated with a reduced risk of early birth.
Presented in Session 57: Contextual Influences on Fertility