Having Children and Forming Marital Unions as Adolescents Negatively Impact Educational Outcomes for Brazilian Women




Marteleto, Leticia J.
Villanueva, Aida

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University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center



Women who have their first child during adolescence tend to have worse social and economic outcomes compared to women who have their first child later in life or those who have no children. But it is not always clear if having a child while young is the cause of poor outcomes in adulthood or if teenage mothers’ previous disadvantages are the primary cause of those outcomes. The role that early union formation plays is also unclear. This brief, from PRC faculty research associate Leticia Marteleto and PRC graduate student trainee Aida Villanueva, evaluates the causal effects of adolescent childbearing and early union on young women’s educational attainment in Brazil. Using methodologies to account for teenage mothers’ selectivity into early childbearing, the authors demonstrate the ways early childbearing and early union formation negatively impact women’s educational attainment.

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