Do adolescents support early marriage in Bangladesh? Evidence from study

JNMA J Nepal Med Assoc. 2005 Jul-Sep;44(159):73-8.


Adolescence is a critical period for female adolescents as they have to make decisions regarding their marriage, education and work which would influence and determine their future course of life. Although, early marriage has negative consequences, still a proportion of female adolescents favour early marriage because of prevailing cultural norms. This paper attempts to investigate the factors influencing the adolescents' attitude towards early marriage among the married and unmarried female adolescents. This is a quantitative and qualitative study. A multistage cluster sampling technique was used to select the sample. For quantitative results, data on 3362 female adolescents from rural and urban areas irrespective of their marital status were analyzed. To supplement the results found in quantitative analysis, a series of focus group discussions were conducted among the adolescents. Analysis revealed that one fourth (25.9%) of the adolescents were in favour of early marriage. A number of societal factors influenced them towards early marriage, despite the fact that adolescents are aware of the consequences of maternal and child health. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that current marital status, years of schooling, work status and parental marital decision are important predictors of early marriage (p < 0.05). The study concluded that female education would be an important determinant of adolescent marriage. Therefore, opportunities and scope of education beyond secondary would helps to bring change in the attitude towards early marriage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Marital Status / statistics & numerical data
  • Marriage / statistics & numerical data*
  • Probability
  • Rural Population
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population