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Do Gender-Based Pathways Influence Mental Health? Examining the Linkages Between Early Child Marriage, Intimate Partner Violence, and Psychological Well-being among Young Ethiopian Women (18–24 years Old)

22.03.22 | Ethiopia

Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Child marriage | Gender-based violence | Health | Health, Nutrition and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) | Psychosocial well-being | Psychosocial well-being | Voice and agency

Authors

Neetu A. John, Chisina Kapungu, Meroji Sebany and Seifu Tadesse

Limited emphasis is placed on understanding the gendered pathways that influence mental health, especially long-term cumulative impacts of gender-based inequalities. Exposure to early child marriage (marriage by age 15) may exaggerate exposure to gender-based mental health risk-factors, providing an opportunity to understand the multi-layered gendered pathways that impact mental health overtime. We used nationally representative cross-sectional data from Ethiopia to examine the relationship between early child marriage and psychological well-being and assessed if intimate partner violence mediates this relationship among young women. We implemented three separate multivariate regression models to assess these relationships. Our results suggest that the relationship between early child marriage and psychological well-being is influenced by higher levels of violence experienced by women in early child marriages as compared to their counterparts who married later. Investments in longitudinal data are needed to rigorously parse out the relationship between early child marriage, intimate partner violence, and psychological well-being.

Suggested citation

Neetu, A. J., Kapungu, C., Sebany, M. and Tadesse, S. (2022) ‘Do Gender-Based Pathways Influence Mental Health? Examining the Linkages Between Early Child Marriage, Intimate Partner Violence, and Psychological Well-being among Young Ethiopian Women (18–24 years Old)’. Journal of Youth & Society (https://doi.org/10.1177/0044118X221079375)


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