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Author: Brown-Peterside, Pamela Gogo Iyabo
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1. Brown-Peterside, Pamela Gogo Iyabo
The Timing of a First Birth Do Economic, Social and Cultural Capital Matter?
Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, April 1997
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Age at First Intercourse; Event History; Family Background; Fertility; First Birth; Hispanics; Human Capital; Modeling, Hazard/Event History/Survival/Duration; Motherhood; Racial Differences

Using the National Longitudinal Survey on Youth, this dissertation examines the influence of family background characteristics on the timing of a first birth. A cohort of 14 and 15 year old girls is followed from 1979 to 1990. An adaptation of a framework of capital developed by Patricia Fernandez Kelly with input from the work of James Coleman is empirically tested. A young woman's resources are organized into three interrelated types of capital: economic, social and cultural. Economic capital refers to the financial and educational resources one's family has, social capital signals the resources that exist in the relationships between people, and cultural capital taps into the meanings attached to a birth and motherhood. Several hypotheses are tested using a model with measures of economic, social and cultural capital. The first hypothesis is that the more capital a young woman has, the more likely she is to delay her first birth. The second hypothesis suggests that economic capital will be more predictive than social capital, and social capital will be more predictive than cultural capital in the timing of a first birth. Event history analysis using proportional hazards models is used to test the hypotheses. Racial differences in the risk of a first birth are evident. Both blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites to experience a birth and to do so at an earlier age. Support is found for both hypotheses. Those young women who not only have more capital, but who also have different kinds of capital are more likely than others to delay their first birth. Economic capital is found to have a greater effect than social capital, and social capital is found to be more predictive of first birth timing than cultural capital. Several intervening events, age at first sexual intercourse and leaving school, are also examined. Both explain the effect of cultural capital, though the significance of economic and social capital remains. Racial differences become more pronounced. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Bibliography Citation
Brown-Peterside, Pamela Gogo Iyabo. The Timing of a First Birth Do Economic, Social and Cultural Capital Matter? Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, April 1997.