The Timing and Circumstances of the Transition to Fatherhood

Joyner, Kara
The Timing and Circumstances of the Transition to Fatherhood
Subproject of NICHD P01

Since the 1970s, a number of demographic and economic changes have dramatically altered the context in which youth and adults become parents. The current study concerns the implications of these changes for the transition to biological parenthood among U.S. adolescents and adults, with a particular focus on early fatherhood and its circumstances (i.e., whether the father is single, cohabiting, or married). Toward this end, we address these questions: How do family background and social policy variables influence the timing and circumstances of biological fatherhood? What are the social psychological and family processes by which these factors influence the transition to biological fatherhood? What influence do these factors have on behaviors that condition the timing and circumstances of biological fatherhood, specifically, sexual behavior, contraceptive use, and pregnancy? To answer these questions, we use data from several nationally representative surveys. We also use a data set developed by the P01 core that includes socioeconomic, demographic, and policy variables at the state, county, and tract levels for the years during which sample members are at risk of becoming a father. Our models estimate the effects of variables measured at several levels on the risk of becoming a father. Additionally, for comparative purposes, we conduct a number of analyses that consider the transition to parenthood for women.

PUBLICATIONS:

Kara Joyner, H. Elizabeth Peters, Kathryn Hynes, Asia Sikora, Jamie Rubenstein, and Michael S. Rendall. (Forthcoming). “The Quality of Male Fertility Data in Major U.S. Surveys.” Demography.

Joyner, Kara. (2009). “Contraception,” Pp. 213-214 in Richard Shweder (Ed.), The Chicago Companion to the Child. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Joyner, Kara. (2009). “Adolescent Childbearing,” Pp. 163-164 in Richard Shweder (Ed.), The Chicago Companion to the Child. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kathryn Hynes, Kara Joyner, H. Elizabeth Peters, and Felicia Yang. (2008). “The Transition to Early Fatherhood: National Estimates Based on Multiple Surveys.” Demographic Research 18(12):337-376.

Joyner, Kara. (2008). “Transition to Parenthood” in Deborah Carr (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale.

SELECTED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (related papers in preparation for publication):

“Parenting in Vain?: Stepfather Influences on Early Transitions to Parenthood.” Presented at the meetings of the Population Association of America, April 2009 (with Rachel Dunifon and Julie Carmalt).

“Relationship Context of Early Fatherhood.” Presented at the meetings of the American Sociological Association, August 2008 (with Kathryn Hynes and H. Elizabeth Peters).

“Child Support Policies and Information about Fathers on Birth Certificates.” Poster presentation at the meetings of the Population Association of America, April 2008 (with H. Elizabeth Peters and Asia Sikora).

“Early Entry to Fatherhood Estimated from Men’s and Women’s Survey Reports in Combination.” Presented at the 2006 Research Conference on the National Survey of Family Growth, October 2006 (with Michael S. Rendall, Ryan Admiraal, Mark S. Handcock, and H. Elizabeth Peters).

“A Bayesian Approach to Combining Population and Survey Data for Male Fertility Estimation” Presented at the meetings of the Population Association of America, April 2006 (with Michael Rendall, Ryan Admiraal, Mark S. Handcock, H. Elizabeth Peters, and Felicia T. Yang).