The Relationship Context: Its Effects on Low-Income Women’s Desire for a Baby


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Little is known about the influence of relationship characteristics on a woman’s desire for a baby with her partner. This study addresses that gap, using data from a study of 1,114 low-income women in the southeast who were in a relationship. Controlling for sociodemographic factors, women who were in more established relationships, who had not had a previous child with their partner, or who had higher expectations of their partner were generally more likely to want a baby with him. In investigating women’s childbearing desires, it is important to consider not only individual characteristics but also women’s relationship characteristics.