Marie, Dannette; Fergusson, David M.; Boden, Joseph M.
June 2011
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Jun2011, Issue 37, p19
Academic Journal
Ethnic differences in fertility and timing of role transition to parenthood have been the focus of extensive research. The present study examined the associations between ethnic identity and pregnancy/parenthood by age 20 among a longitudinal birth cohort of New Zealanders born in 1977. Those participants of sole Mäori identity reported higher rates of both early pregnancy and parenthood than either non-Mäori or those of Mäori/other ethnic identity. Control for a range of socio-economic and family functioning factors reduced the magnitude of the associations between ethnic identity and pregnancy/parenthood. However, even after controlling for socio-economic and family functioning factors, sole Mäori individuals were still at greater risk of pregnancy/parenthood by age 20. Similar results were found for an alternative measure of the extent of Mäori identity. It was concluded that higher rates of early pregnancy/parenthood among Mäori are associated with factors relating to cultural identity. However, the mechanisms by which cultural identity may be linked to early pregnancy/parenthood are unclear.


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