Online Program

Child marriage and associations with lifetime sexually transmitted infections in côte d'ivoire

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kathryn L. Falb, ScD, MHS, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Jeannie Annan, PhD, International Rescue Committee, New York City, NY
Denise Kpebo, MPH, Innovations for Poverty Action, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
Jhumka Gupta, ScD, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Introduction: Child marriage has been associated with poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes. However, little is known about the prevalence of child marriage and its association with lifetime sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in conflict-affected regions, including Côte d'Ivoire. Methods: Data taken from a randomized controlled trial among adult, rural Ivorian women (2010 – 2012). Child marriage was operationalized as married between the ages of 10-15 years or 16-17 years, and vs 18+. Lifetime STI was assessed via a single self-reported item and collected at endline while demographics, including child marriage, were assessed at baseline. GEE models assessed the relationships of interest and accounted for demographics, village clustering, and intervention exposure. Results: Among 623 women, 13.0% (n=81) of women were married between the ages of 10-15 and 17.3% (n=108) were married at 16-17 years. 56.0% (n=349) reported lifetime STI; 69.1% of young child brides reported STI while 57.4% of older child brides reported STI. Being a young child bride was associated with a 2.1 (95%CI: 1.2 – 3.7) times the odds of STI, while older child brides had a 1.2 (95%CI: 0.8 – 1.9) times the odds of STI, compared to women who were married as adults. Discussion: In Côte d'Ivoire, younger child brides had increased risk of STI, reflecting the urgency for sexual health programs to address the needs of these vulnerable girls. Programs and policies should work to reduce child marriage as a strategy to improve reproductive health, particularly for those at the youngest ages.

Learning Areas:


Learning Objectives:
Define and explain child marriage. Discuss child marriage in West Africa and in conflict-affected regions. Demonstrate the association between child marriage and sexually transmitted infections in Cote d'Ivoire.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, International, STD

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Postdoctoral Research Associate and have worked on numerous gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights research projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.