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Growing Up in America: Children of Immigrants and Nonmarital Fertility

Mon, August 13, 4:30 to 5:30pm, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Floor: Level 5, Salon D


Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N=10,972), this paper extends prior sociological research by being the first to explicitly integrate family demography and immigration studies into examining the nonmarital fertility behaviors of post-1965 children of immigrants. The study draws on the classical and segmented assimilation theories to examine the relationship between being a second-generation immigrant and the risk of experiencing a nonmarital first birth. It asks two main questions: (1) compared to their native-born counterparts, are there any differences in the patterns of nonmarital fertility among children of immigrants? (2) What are the factors responsible for these differentials? On a whole, the multinomial logistic regressions show that children of immigrants have lower risks of experiencing a nonmarital first birth than children of the native-born. The results suggest culture as playing an important role in mitigating children of immigrants’ risks of a nonmarital first birth. I discuss the implications of the findings to the immigration theories.


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