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Mothers and Multiple Partners

  • By: Jacqueline Ciccio Parsons
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The convergence of several societal factors has caused an increase in the number and percentage of mothers who bear children with more than one man. Currently, more than 25 percent of all American mothers have children with multiple partners, and more than a third of urban mothers do so. Statistically, multipartner fertility can be associated with numerous disadvantages for both the children and the mother. It also tends to co-occur with several other factors that are often detrimental to mothers and children. As a result, there is significant social policy discussion regarding ways to reduce multipartner fertility along with its associated factors.

The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families, studied 4,900 children born between 1998 and 2000, then ...

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