Article

Gender differences in the transition to early parenthood.

University of Canterbury & Christchurch School of Medicine, New Zealand.
Development and Psychopathology (Impact Factor: 4.89). 02/2006; 18(1):275-94. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579406060159
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Data gathered over the course of a 25-year longitudinal study of 1,055 young people was used to examine gender differences in the onset of early parenthood and the developmental processes that place males and females at risk of becoming a young parent. Results revealed clear gender differences in the timing of early parenthood, with females being twice as likely as males to become a parent between the ages of 16 and 25 years. In contrast, the risk factors and life course processes that placed males and females at risk of an early transition to parenthood were very similar. Two exceptions were a gender-specific effect for maternal age and exposure to parental change, suggesting that having been raised by a younger mother and having experienced parental changes in your family of origin increased risks of early parenthood for females but not males. These findings contribute to our understanding of the effects of gender on life course development.

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    • "). Personality traits have received less attention as predictors of the timing of parenthood, but the limited available research indicates that maladaptive personality characteristics (e.g., novelty seeking) also predict earlier entry into parenthood (Woodward et al., 2006). Given the evidence that numerous maladaptive behaviors and characteristics predict early parenthood, we expected that lower levels of constraint and positive emotionality and higher levels of negative emotionality would predict earlier entry into parenthood. "
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    • "Women not only give birth to but also increasingly raise children outside the context of marriage, much more so than men do (Seltzer, 2000). Overall, men marry and have children later than women (Cohen et al., 2003; Woodward et al., 2006), but are also much less likely than women to live with their children and to have the primary responsibility for raising their own or their partner's children (Coltrane, 2000; Hochschild & Machung, 1989). "
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