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Title: The Effects of Student Loan Debt on the Transition to Parenthood
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Reeder, Lori
Kahn, Joan R.
The Effects of Student Loan Debt on the Transition to Parenthood
Presented: Denver CO, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2012
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: American Sociological Association
Keyword(s): Debt/Borrowing; Fertility; Gender Differences; Student Loans; Transition, Adulthood

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This paper uses data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97) cohort to examine the relationship between student loan debt and fertility decisions during the transition to adulthood. We hypothesize that the burden of loan debt will lead women (and men) to feel greater financial insecurity and therefore postpone (and potentially forego) the family building process. We test these ideas using two approaches: first, we use cross-sectional data from the 2009 wave of the NLSY97 (when respondents were ages 24-30) to explore the relationship between loan debt and both childlessness and the number of children ever born. We find that, net of all controls in the model, student loan debt is negatively and significantly associated with the fertility of young adult women. It appears that the key difference is between those with and without debt, since among those with debt, there is relatively little difference by level of debt. In the second part of our analysis, we will use event history methods to model the impact of time-varying measures of debt on the timing of first births.
Bibliography Citation
Reeder, Lori and Joan R. Kahn. "The Effects of Student Loan Debt on the Transition to Parenthood." Presented: Denver CO, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2012.