Impact Of Early Marriage And Prediction Of Reproductive Health Challenges Among Adolescent Girls
Out of the three key events in most people’s lives, birth, marriage and death, only marriage is a matter of choice. Yet many young people especially girls, do not have the opportunity to exercise their right to choose when it involves issues of marriage. The choice is usually made on their behalf and this violates their human rights. Chukwu (2020).
As defined by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, early marriage or child marriage is a formal marriage or informal union before the age of 18. Therefore, girl child marriage is marriage of a girl carried out below the age of 18, before she becomes physically, physiologically and psychologically mature to handle the responsibilities of marriage and childbirth. Ameh (2019) This is a practice that is common all over the world and has caused devastating effects on young girls especially in developing countries.
This practice of early marriage mainly arises due to poverty, civil strife and low level of development. Some families believe that it limits and discourages promiscuity It discriminates against the girl child’s right, limits her freedom to make decisions, isolates her from her peers, increases her risk of intimate sexual violence and sexually transmitted infections including HIV infection, predisposes her to complications of child birth such as obstructed labour and obstetric fistulae. Maternal mortality in pregnancy is four times higher among girls below the age of 16 years and their new born death rate is 50% higher compared to women who become pregnant after the age of 20 years. Early marriage also causes the girl child to discontinue or interrupt her education. Her children are also less likely to grow up healthy and go to school, thus continuing and worsening the cycle of poverty for generations to come. Diaz (2018).
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the impact of early marriage as a predictor of reproductive health challenges among adolescent girls in Nigeria. Other objectives of the study include;
- To examine the age range at which adolescent girls marry
- To investigate the causes of early child marriage among adolescent girls
- To examine the impacts of early child marriage on physiological health of adolescent girls
- To examine the impacts of early child marriage on psychological health of adolescent girls
- To analyze the strategies that will help to address the problem of early child marriage
- What is the age range at which adolescent girls marry?
- What are the causes of child marriage among adolescent girls?
- What are the impacts of child marriage on physiological health of adolescent girls?
- What are the impacts of child marriage on psychological health of adolescent girls?
- What are the strategies that will help to address the problem of child marriage?