Early Marriage: Socio-Psychological Effects

Goals

To eradicate or reduce the menance of teenage wives by providing information on the socio-psychological effects of early marriage among teenage wives.

Early Findings

  • Rampant in the North West and North East of Nigeria," Nigeria has the third highest absolute number of child brides in the world — 3,538,000," according to UNICEF.
  • Furthermore, in 2017, Nigeria was ranked 11th based on the child marriage rates, "where 44% of girls in Nigeria are married before their 18th birthday and 18% are married before the age of 15."
  • According to research on the consequences of early girl-child marriage in Nigeria, these consequences include domestic violence, illiteracy, early pregnancy, health risk, and social stigma.
  • "Early marriage is associated with serious adverse health and social outcomes, including compromised sexual, reproductive, and maternal health, increased risk of depression and suicidality, greater risk of intimate partner violence, decreased social and physical mobility, and decreased autonomy in decision-making within and outside of the household."
  • "Early marriage also compromises girls' ability to attend school post-marriage, exposing them to an array of adverse social and health outcomes associated with education cessation."
  • "Child marriage often compromises a girl’s development by resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupting her schooling, limiting her opportunities for career and vocational advancement and placing her at increased risk of domestic violence."
  • "While social insecurity, strain on the health sector, high level of illiteracy, increased mortality rates as well as high level of divorce rates have been established as some of the impacts of early girl child marriages on the society."
  • "There are also the serious medical complications of Vesico-Vagina Fistula (VVF) and Rectum Vagina Fistula (RVF) among girls, of which girls with such medical conditions are considered unclean and ostracized by society." "In Nigeria, this condition affects 150,000 women."
  • A typical survey in Kastina State, Northwest geopolitical zone of Nigeria, was random sampling where "a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire was applied in retrieving critical information from 296 girls, who were the respondents. The questionnaire covered various parameters such as literacy status, age at first marriage, education level, etc.

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