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Precursors of Young Women's Family Formation Pathways


Department of Sociology, 211 Oswald Tower, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-6207 (


We used latent class analysis to create family formation pathways for women between the ages of 18 and 23. Input variables included cohabitation, marriage, parenthood, full-time employment, and attending school. Data (n = 2,290) came from Waves I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The analysis revealed seven latent pathways: college-no family formation (29%), high school-no family formation (19%), cohabitation without children (15%), married mothers (14%), single mothers (10%), cohabiting mothers (8%), and inactive (6%). Three sets of variables distinguished between the groups: personal and social resources in adolescence, family socioeconomic resources and adolescent academic achievement, and conservative values and behavior in adolescence.