Demographic characteristics in adult paternity for first births to adolescents under 15 years of age

Don J. Taylor, Gilberto F. Chavez, Elizabeth J. Adams, Anand Chabra, Rugmini S. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine parental demographic characteristics by adult (≥ 20 years at baby's conception) and teenage (< 20 years at baby's conception) paternity in births to very young adolescents (< 15 years at baby's conception). Methods: This was a population-based, retrospective cohort analysis of all 12,317 very young adolescent mothers residing in California with a first singleton live birth during 1993-1995. Risks for adult, compared to teenage, paternity were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression. Results: Adult fathers, responsible for 26.7% of births to very young adolescents, were a mean of 8.8 years older than the mother. The risk factors for adult compared to adolescent paternity were as follows: father's educational attainment of at least 3 years below that considered adequate for his age [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 8.34], father's (AOR = 2.46) or mother's (AOR = 1.36) educational attainment 1-2 years below that considered adequate for their age, mother's birthplace outside the United States (AOR = 3.12), and father's Hispanic ethnicity (AOR = 1.60) or African-American race (AOR = 1.50). Conclusions: Adult fathers were responsible for over one quarter of the births in our study. Adolescent pregnancy prevention focusing on younger adolescents must programmatically address adult paternity. Variations in adult paternity patterns across cultural groups suggest that we need further study of the role that cultural beliefs and practices play in very young adolescent pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • Adolescence
  • Adult
  • Age factors
  • Paternity
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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