Precursors of young women's family formation pathways

Paul R. Amato, Nancy S. Landale, Tara C. Havasevich-Brooks, Alan Booth, David J. Eggebeen, Robert Schoen, Susan M. McHale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1286
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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