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Keywords:

  • British cohort study;
  • fatherhood;
  • propensity score matching

Although there has been increasing attention to the importance of fathers and their relationships with their children, few studies have examined young parenthood and its consequences for fathers’ life chances. In recent years, this has begun to change, and research is examining, to a far greater extent, the experiences of young fathers. Using data from a cohort of British men born in 1970, this paper uses a propensity score–matching technique to compare the well-being of 344 men who reported becoming fathers before the age of 22 with men from similar backgrounds who did not. The findings suggest that selection into young fatherhood is substantial but, for some outcomes, significant differences remain.