Girl child marriage as a risk factor for early childhood development and stunting

June 15, 2017
Authors: Yvette Efevbera, Jacqueline Bhabha, Paul E. Farmer, Günther Fink
Organization: Social Science and Medicine

There are cultural and economic issues contributing to child marriage and this research contributes to an arsenal of evidence needed to make the cultural shifts and policy changes against child marriage.  This paper quantitatively examines the intergenerational effects of girl child marriage, or the developmental and health outcomes of children born to women who marry before age 18.   Further, it provides a framework to conceptualize how girl child marriage affects child well-being and focuses on mechanisms explaining child outcomes associated with girl child marriage.  The findings indicate that marrying early does have important intergenerational and developmental outcomes and point toward important policy considerations for improving early childhood outcomes.