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The use of socioeconomic data to predict teenage birth rates. An exploratory study in Massachusetts.
  • Published Date:

    1981 Jul-Aug

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 96(4):335-341
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.06 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    In an exploratory study of adolescent fertility in 24 Massachusetts cities, age-specific birth rates constructed specifically for the study constituted the dependable variables. Data from the 1980 U.S. Census provided the independent socioeconomic variables for the analysis. The relationships between birth rates and these independent variables were explored through simple and partial correlation analyses. Results of the analyses confirm the assumption that rates of birth to teenagers vary systematically in relation to socioeconomic variables. They also confirm at the macro level the results of several earlier household survey showing an association between family income on the one hand, and adolescent sexual activity, contraception, and abortion on the other. In the current study, economic variables, particularly the median income of all families in the community, were found to be highly significant predictors of fertility among adolescents 15 to 19 years of age. The fertility of the generation to which the teenagers' mothers belonged (that is, women 35 to 44 years old) was also significantly associated with the teenagers' birth rates. The results for teenage mothers 15 through 17 years old and teenage mothers 18 and 19 years old were similar.
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