The Effects of Child Support Enforcement on Youth Pregnancy Intention

Chien-Chung Huang, Rutgers University

Most previous studies on teenage fertility behaviors have focused only on young women’s beliefs, knowledge and behaviors, and varying state welfare environments. Much of these studies fail to fully recognize the role of men in these relationships or to assess how government policies might affect men’s behavior. If young men realize that fathering a child incurs a financial obligation that lasts for up to eighteen years, they may be more likely to take responsibility in sexual behaviors (e.g. using contraception or reducing sexual activity). In turn, unintended pregnancies and teenage births may be reduced. Using the 1982 to 2002 waves of National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79), this paper examine the effects of child support enforcement on youth intention on pregnancy. The findings of this paper will fill an important gap in our knowledge about the impact of child support enforcement on men’s behavior.

Presented in Poster Session 5: Union Formation and Dissolution, Fertility, Family and Well-being