Cultural identity and pregnancy/parenthood by age 20: Evidence from a New Zealand birth cohort

Dannette Marie, David Fergusson, Joseph Boden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Ethnic differences in fertility and timing of role transition to parenthood have been the focus of extensive research. The present study examined the associations between ethnic identity and pregnancy/parenthood by age 20 among a longitudinal birth cohort of New Zealanders born in 1977. Those participants of sole Maori identity reported higher rates of both early pregnancy and parenthood than either non-Maori or those of Maori/other ethnic identity. Control for a range of socio-economic and family functioning factors reduced the magnitude of the associations between ethnic identity and pregnancy/parenthood. However, even after controlling for socio-economic and family functioning factors, sole Maori individuals were still at greater risk of pregnancy/parenthood by age 20. Similar results were found for an alternative measure of the extent of Maori identity. It was concluded that higher rates of early pregnancy/parenthood among Maori are associated with factors relating to cultural identity. However, the mechanisms by which cultural identity may be linked to early pregnancy/parenthood are unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Policy Journal of New Zealand
Volume37
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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