Transition to Adulthood: Early Marriage in India

PremChand Dommaraju, Arizona State University

The timing of marriage has important implications on not only fertility but also on the lives of the early married. Research on marriage age has typically focused on fertility issues with little attention paid to the impact of early marriage on early married individual’s life. In this paper, we take a broad approach in studying early marriages by examining the trends, the determinants, and the deleterious consequences of early marriage. Using census and DHS data from India, where marriages still occur at early an early age, we analyze spatial and temporal difference in early marriages, test the effect of social and economic conditions on marriage patterns, and finally examine the impact of early marriage on women’s autonomy, and susceptibility to domestic violence. Preliminary analysis indicates that socio economic factors have a weak effect on age at marriage.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility, Family Planning, Reproductive Health