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Dyadic patterns in childbirth intention

Monica Caudillo, with MPRC affiliate colleagues, uses National Survey of Family Growth Data for Population Research and Policy Review article

Although racial-ethnic disparities in rates of births unintended by women have received substantial attention from demographers, little is known about the dyadic pregnancy intentions preceding the births of White, Black, and Hispanic women in the United States. The team used birth records from the 2011–2013, 2013-2015, 2015–2017, and 2017–2019 waves of the National Survey of Family Growth to identify multiple types of agreement and disagreement in the pregnancy intentions of female and male co-conceivers around the time of conception, and assess racial-ethnic disparities in the prevalence of each of these scenarios. Results showed that while 55% of births in the US were intended by both sex partners, 19% were unintended by both, and 26% were conceived in a context of dyadic disagreement over pregnancy intentions. Net of demographic and family trajectory characteristics, Black and Hispanic women’s births were more likely to be the product of disagreement, where the conception was unintended for women but intended for their male sex partners. In particular, Black women had the highest probability of experiencing births that were unwanted for them but intended for their male co-conceivers. The findings highlight the importance of measuring and assessing dyadic pregnancy intentions to understand key racial-ethnic differences in the circumstances leading to conceptions, and their potential implications for child, parental, and family wellbeing.


Caudillo, M.L., Kim, S., Lee, J. et al. (2024). Racial-Ethnic Disparities in Dyadic Pregnancy Intentions Preceding Births in the United States. Popul Res Policy Rev 43(13).