Comprehensive Child Marriage Research Library
Child Marriage in the United States and Its Association with Mental Health in Women
Le Strat, Yann; Dubertret, Caroline; Le Foll, Bernard
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American Acadamy of Pediatrics
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Students Against Child Marriage's Object Summary:
This study looks at the 2001-2002 National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions to explore the impact of child marriage on women’s mental health. They found that nearly 10% of female survey respondents had been married as children and that child marriage increases the risk of lifetime and current psychiatric disorders in the United States. Of the women married at children, the statistical average was above the age of 45, either Black or Native American, with low educational achievement and low household income, living in the South or a rural area. When controlling for all other social variables, the study found that women married as children had a significantly increased risk for psychiatric disorders, among them depression, nicotine dependance, and antisocial personality disorder. This study was limited in that it did not test for things like post-traumatic stress disorder and did not take into consideration the circumstances in which children were married. Although more research needs to be done on the mental health impacts of child marriage in the US, this study does point to a high degree of correlation between lifetime mental health disorders and child marriage.
Article Abstract (If Available):
Despite the devastating impact of child marriage (marriage before the age of 18 years) on health, no study has yet evaluated its impact on mental health in the general adult population. This article presents nationally representative data on the prevalence, sociodemographic correlates, and psychiatric comorbidity of child marriage among women in the United States.