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Predicting Maternal Health Care Use by Age at Marriage in Multiple Countries
Authors: Deepali Godha, Anastasia J Gage, David R Hotchkiss, and Claudia Cappa
Source: Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(5): 504-11; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.01.001
Topic(s): Child marriage
Health care utilization
Marriage
Maternal health
Youth
Country: Asia
  Bangladesh
  Nepal
Africa
  Ethiopia
  Mali
  Mozambique
  Burkina Faso
  Niger
More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: MAY 2016
Abstract: Purpose: In light of the global pervasiveness of child marriage and given that improving maternal health care use is an effective strategy in reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality, the available empirical evidence on the association of child marriage with maternal health care utilization seems woefully inadequate. Furthermore, existing studies have not considered the interaction of type of place of residence and parity with child marriage, which can give added insight to program managers. Methods: Demographic Health Survey data for seven countries are used to estimate logistic regression models including interactions of age at marriage with area of residence and birth order. Adjusted predicted probabilities at representative values and marginal effects are computed for each outcome. Results: The results show a negative association between child marriage and maternal health care use in most study countries, and this association is more negative in rural areas and with higher orders of parity. However, the association between age at marriage and maternal health care use is not straightforward but depends on parity and area of residence and varies across countries. The marginal effects in use of delivery care services between women married at age 14 years or younger and those married at age 18 years or older are more than 10% and highly significant in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, and Nepal. Conclusions: The study's findings call for the formulation of country-and age at marriage-specific recommendations to improve maternal and child health outcomes. Keywords: Bangladesh; Burkina Faso; Child marriage; Ethiopia; Mali; Maternal health care use; Mozambique; Nepal; Niger.