Fertility of Single and Cohabiting Women

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article provides an overview of current theory and empirical research on the fertility of single or cohabiting parents, with particular emphasis on research in the fields of demography, economics, history, and sociology. Topics covered include: historical shifts in usage concerning the terms employed to refer to these behaviors; measurement issues that arise in the study of nonmarital fertility; demographic trends; functionalist, historical, and policy literatures; empirical research to date on the socioeconomic determinants, including within-country and cross-national variation in the association between nonmarital fertility and socioeconomically disadvantage; consequences for women and children; and the continuing conceptual and theoretical challenges posed by the study of nonmarital fertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Children
  • Cohabitation
  • Contraception
  • Family structure and instability
  • Fertility
  • Historical family change
  • Marriage
  • Poverty and social disadvantage
  • Pregnancy resolution
  • Sexual activity
  • Single mothers
  • Unmarried parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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