Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Risk Factors Associated with the Practice of Child Marriage among Roma Girls in Serbia

Relatively little research on the issue of child marriage has been conducted in European countries where the overall prevalence of child marriage is relatively low, but relatively high among marginalized ethnic sub-groups. The purpose of this study is to assess the risk factors associated with the practice of child marriage among females living in Roma settlements in Serbia and among the general population and to explore the inter-relationship between child marriage and school enrollment decisions.

The study is based on data from a nationally representative household survey in Serbia conducted in 2010 – and a separate survey of households living in Roma settlements in the same year. For each survey, we estimated a bivariate probit model of risk factors associated with being currently married and currently enrolled in school based on girls 15 to 17 years of age in the nationally representative and Roma settlements samples.

The practice of child marriage among the Roma was found to be most common among girls who lived in poorer households, who had less education, and who lived in rural locations. The results of the bivariate probit analysis suggest that, among girls in the general population, decisions about child marriage school attendance are inter-dependent in that common unobserved factors were found to influence both decisions. However, among girls living in Roma settlements, there is only weak evidence of simultaneous decision making.

The study finds evidence of the interdependence between marriage and school enrollment decisions among the general population and, to a lesser extent, among the Roma. Further research is needed on child marriage among the Roma and other marginalized sub-groups in Europe, and should be based on panel data, combined with qualitative data, to assess the role of community-level factors and the characteristics of households where girls grow up on child marriage and education decisions.

Below:  Percent of women ages 20 to 24 who report first marrying before ages 15 and 18, 2010

Below:  Percent distribution of currently married/in union females ages 15–19 and 20–24 years living in Roma settlements by age difference with her husband/partner, 2010

Below:  Percent of women living in Roma settlements age 20–24 first married before ages 15 and 18, by educational attainment, 2010

Below:  Percent of women living in Roma settlements ages 20–24 married before ages 15 and 18, by wealth group, 2010

Full article at:   http://goo.gl/H8qcrq

Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA USA
Independent Consultant, Indore, India
David R. Hotchkiss, Email: ude.enalut@sikhctoh.
corresponding authorCorresponding author.

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