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Father absence and age at first birth in a western sample.

Boothroyd, L.G. and Craig, P.S. and Crossman, R.J. and Perrett, D.I. (2013) 'Father absence and age at first birth in a western sample.', American journal of human biology., 25 (3). pp. 366-369.


Objectives: Although a large literature has shown links between “father absence” during early childhood, and earlier puberty and sexual behavior in girls in Western populations, there are only a few studies which have looked at timing of reproduction, and only one of these fully incorporated childless respondents to investigate whether father absence is associated with increased hazard of becoming a parent at one time point (early) more than another. Here we sought to clarify exactly when, if at all, father absence increased the likelihood of first birth in a Western sample. Methods: An online sample of 954 women reported on their childhood living circumstances, their age of menarche, first coitus, first pregnancy, and first birth. Results: Cox regression and Kaplan–Meier plots showed an increased risk of becoming a parent for father absent women in their 20s, but no overall greater likelihood of parenthood. Conclusion: These data support the suggestion that father absence is associated with an acceleration of reproductive behavior in Western samples, rather than a simple increase in likelihood of reproduction.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Boothroyd, L. G., Craig, P. S., Crossman, R. J. and Perrett, D. I. (2013), Father absence and age at first birth in a western sample. American Journal of Human Biology, 25 (3): 366–369, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:14 January 2014
Date of first online publication:June 2013
Date first made open access:No date available

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