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Changes in the Relationship between the Outcomes of Cohabiting Partnerships and Fertility among Young British Women: Evidence from the 1958 and 1970 Birth Cohort Studies

By Fiona Steele, Heather Joshi, Constantinos Kallis and Harvey Goldstein


We investigate the effects of a range of time-varying fertility indicators, including pregnancy, and the presence and characteristics of children, on the outcomes of nonmarital unions for two cohorts of British women. We compare the effect of conceptions and births on the odds that a cohabiting partnership is dissolved or that it is converted to marriage for women born in 1958 and 1970. The analysis uses a multilevel competing risks model to allow for multiple partnerships and conceptions, and to distinguish between two outcomes of cohabiting unions (separation and marriage). We also use a multiprocess model, in which the outcomes of cohabitation are modelled simultaneously with fertility, to allow for the potential joint determination of partnership and childbearing decisions. The analysis is based on partnership and birth histories between the ages of 16 and 29, and social background, in the National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study

Publisher: Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, University of London
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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