Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Management and Policy

First Advisor

Dr. Xiangming Fang

Second Advisor

Dr. Shannon Renee Self

Third Advisor

Dr. Greta M. Massetti


Child marriage is a serious and widespread public health issue. As of 2018, 650 million women worldwide were married before their 18th birthday (Efevbera et al., 2020). In low and middle income countries 1 in 3 girls will be married under 18 (UNFPA, 2016). Child marriage is of particular concern in Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, 40% of girls are married before their 18th birthday (Ethiopia, 2023). Child marriage is associated with numerous negative health outcomes for the women and girls that experience it. Child marriage is a strong predictor of intimate partner violence (Kidman, 2017). Girls in child marriages are more likely to give birth as teens (Fan et al., 2022). Mothers are also 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy complications if they are under the age of 16 (Conde-Agudelo et al., 2005). The aim of this study is to understand the association child marriage with specific outcomes for women who have experienced or are experiencing a child marriage in Ethiopia. Data was obtained from the 2016 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (ICF, 2016). This is a national survey with data collection on the prevalence, health outcomes, and educational outcomes of child marriage in Ethiopia from January 18, 2016, to June 27, 2016 (ICF, 2016). The maternal outcomes to be considered here were underweight, anemia, miscarriage, abortion or still birth, physical or sexual assault by an intimate partner, poverty, and whether or not a secondary education was received. The association of child marriage and these health outcomes was measured using adjusted odds ratio. All data was analyzed with Stata SE version 17. When considering the unadjusted odds ratio all of the outcomes were associated with child marriage. When adjusting for study design, sample weight, age, region of residence, and urban vs rural, a significant association was found between child marriage and anemia, miscarriage and abortion, and not receiving a secondary education. This was evident with each outcome having a OR value greater than 1 and a p-value less than 0.10.


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