Effect of Early Wedlock and Young Motherhood on Nutritional Status of Children in Selected States of India
Deepti Singh, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
This study is an effort to find out the effect of early marriage and early childbearing on nutritional status of children, with a focus on Bihar and Andhra Pradesh using the data from the third round of National Family Health Survey (2005-06). Results revealed that the proportion of underweight children were significantly higher in mothers married before 18 years in Andhra Pradesh (32.9%, p<0.000), Bihar (57.1%, p<0.000) and India (44.1%, p<0.000) than those who married at higher ages. Similarly, underweight children were significantly higher among the women who gave first birth before 18 years in Andhra Pradesh (37.6 percent, p<0.000), Bihar (58.6 percent, p<0.000) and India (46.3 percent, p<0.000) than women married in higher age groups. Multivariate regression models also suggest a significant adverse effect of early marriages and early childbearing on the nutritional status of their children in India and the selected states.