Teen nonmarital childbearing and welfare: The gap between research and political discourse

Brian L. Wilcox, Jennifer K. Robbennolt, Janet E. O'Keeffe, Marisa E. Pynchon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Contemporary welfare reform efforts frequently include provisions intended to alter current policies that are presumed to provide incentives for out-of-wedlock childbearing, especially for adolescents. This article examines the political debate around "welfare incentive effects." The history of the debate is briefly presented followed by an introduction to both the federal cash welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, and the trends in both welfare use and adolescent pregnancy and nonmarital childbearing. Social science research examining the question of whether welfare is implicated as a significant cause of teen nonmarital childbearing is presented and discussed in light of the current policy debates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-90
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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