Male Pregnancy Intendedness and Children’s Mental Proficiency and Attachment Security during Toddlerhood

Jacinta M.H. Bronte-Tinkew, Child Trends
Allison Horowitz, Child Trends

Using a sample of biological resident fathers and their children from 9- and 24-month surveys from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort (N=5,300), this study examines associations and the direct and indirect pathways through which men’s pregnancy intentions influence toddlers’ mental proficiency and attachment security. Findings indicate that unwanted and mistimed pregnancies for fathers have negative consequences for toddlers’ mental proficiency and attachment security. Additionally, men’s pregnancy intentions were found to work indirectly through lower prenatal behaviors and father engagement and greater mother-father relationship conflict to negatively influence toddlers’ mental proficiency. Men’s pregnancy intentions also work indirectly through greater relationship conflict and higher father involvement to influence attachment security.

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Presented in Session 108: Unintended Pregnancies