Reproductive outcomes are suboptimal among women who marry early in India

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Author: H. Ball
Date: Sept. 2009
Publisher: Guttmacher Institute
Document Type: Report
Length: 809 words
Lexile Measure: 1580L

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Women in India who marry before age 18 are more likely than those who marry later to have high parity and inadequate birth spacing, according to a nationally representative study. (1) Despite being outlawed in 1978, child marriage remains common in India: Nearly half of ever-married 20-24-year-olds in the study had married before reaching the legal age of 18. Even when duration of marriage was taken into account, such women were more likely than same-aged peers who married later to have not practiced contraception before their first birth (odds ratio, 1.4); to have had at least three births (1.3), short intervals between births (1.4) and multiple unintended pregnancies (1.4); and to have undergone sterilization (2.1).

The researchers analyzed data on 22,807 20-24-year-old women from the 2005-2006 India National. Family Health Survey, a nationally representative, household-based study. Two-thirds of the sample (14,813 women) had ever been married; this subgroup formed the basis for most calculations. The researchers analyzed demographic data (including women's age, education level, marital status, age at marriage, area of residence and household wealth, and husband's age and education level), as well as information on the following reproductive characteristics; contraceptive use before first childbirth, childbirth in the first year of marriage,...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A210607316