Consequences for children of their birth planning status.Fam Plann Perspect. 1995 Nov-Dec; 27(6):228-34, 245.FP
Of 1,327 children younger than two in 1986 whose mothers were participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 61% were wanted, 34% were mistimed and 5% were unwanted. Planning status is associated with the level of developmental resources the child receives at home: At ages one and older, mistimed and unwanted children score significantly lower on a scale measuring opportunity for skill development and on a scale measuring nonauthoritarian parenting style than their wanted peers; by preschool age, they also have significantly less-positive relationships with their mothers. Measures of the direct effects of planning status on development also indicate that mistimed and unwanted children are at a disadvantage: Those younger than two have higher mean scores for fearfulness than wanted infants and lower scores for positive affect; unintended preschoolers score lower on a measure of receptive vocabulary.