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Racial differences in transitions to adulthood in South Africa

Sangeetha Madhavan, University of Maryland

I use Demographic and Health Survey data from South Africa to examine racial differences in young women’s transitions to adulthood. Drawing on role sequencing theory, I examine racial differences in the overlap of roles within the productive sphere of work and school and the reproductive sphere of union formation and parenting. Using multinomial logit regression, I assess the extent to which race is associated with being in single role states versus overlapping states controlling for selected individual and household level characteristics. The results suggest that role overlap is low for school-work and parent-school combinations within all race groups. However, substantial differences across race exist for school-work, parent-union and parent-school configurations even after controlling for socioeconomic status. Black women are more likely to experience role overlap of schooling and parenting whereas white girls are more likely to overlap on schooling and employment as well as having been in union and parenting.

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Presented in Session 62: Adolescent transitions and sexual behavior