Women's Lived Experience of the Consequences of Child Marriage; A Qualitative Phenomenological Study

Document Type : Original


1 Ph.D. Student of Counseling, Department of Psychology and Counseling, Faculty of Humanities Sciences, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran.

2 Department of Psychology and Counseling, Faculty of Humanities Sciences, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology and Counseling, Faculty of Humanities, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran


Background: Child marriage is one of the social phenomenon and can cause many injuries. To deal with the injuries of this phenomenon, it is necessary to know its consequences. Objective: The present study was conducted to identify the consequences of child marriage. The research method was a phenomenological study. Method: The study population was all women with child marriage experience in Tehran province 15 people were selected by purposive and snowball sampling methods and the selection of samples went to saturation stage. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The interviews were recorded and written word by word and were analyzed using the Colaizzi method. In the coding stage, 12 sub-themes were identified and then the sub-themes were conceptually put together and 5 main themes were identified. Findings: The results showed that child marriage can cause injuries to personal and marital health. In addition, women in child marriage experience may experience injuries such as anxiety and social isolation, dropout and unemployment, and economic dependence. Conclusion: According to the research findings, child marriage is traumatic and can have irreparable consequences on personal, marital, family, and social life. The results of this research can have many practical implications.


Main Subjects

Ahmadi, V., & Rezayi, A. (2018). Study of early marriage in the provinces of the country during the years 2007 to 2012. Population Magazine, 22(93-94), 81-94. [Persian] [http://populationmag.ir/article-1-428-fa.html]
Azimi, K. (2020). The trend of girl-child marriage in Iran is based on national census data. Sexual and reproductive health matters, 28(1), 1820655. [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/26410397.2020.1820655]
Clark, S. (2004). Early marriage and HIV risks in sub-Saharan Africa. Studies in Family Planning, 35(3), 149-160. [https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1728-4465.2004.00019.x]
Cohen, T. F., & Strong, B. (2013). The marriage and family experience: Intimate relationships in a changing society. Cengage Learning. [https://books.google.com/ ]
Eftekharzade, Z. (2015). Lived experiences of female victims of child marriage. Social Work Research, 1(3), 108-156. [Persian] [https://rjsw.atu.ac.ir/article_4746.html]
Faraji, J., Sanai, B., & Namvar, H. (2020). A qualitative inquiry of effective factors on marital burnout: A case study of Tehran. Family Counseling and Psychotherapy, 9(2), 173-194. [Persian] [https://fcp.uok.ac.ir/article_61445.html]
Gage, A. J. (2013). Association of child marriage with suicidal thoughts and attempts among adolescent girls in Ethiopia. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(5), 654-656. [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1054139X12007987]
Gangoli, G., McCarry, M., & Razak, A. (2009). Child marriage or forced marriage? South Asian communities in northeast England. Children & Society, 23(6), 418-429. [https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1099-0860.2008.00188.x]
Gholami, Z., Sanai, B., Kiamanesh, A., & Zahrakar, K. (2020). Predicting marital satisfaction based on emotional maturity and attitude to marriage between men and women with early and normal age marriage. Family Counseling and Psychotherapy, 10(1), 151-178. [Persian] [https://fcp.uok.ac.ir/article_61741.html]
Girls Not Brides (2020). Child marriage around the world. Girls Not Brides website [cited 2020 January 10]. Available from: www.girlsnotbrides.org.
Hoseini, S. H., & Sakhaei, S. M. (2014). Homogamy in psychology and its comparison to homogeneity in Fegh. Islam and Health Journal, 1(3), 50-60. [Persian] [http://iahj.ir/browse.php?a_code=A-10-79-1&slc_lang=fa&sid=1]
Imanzadeh, A., & Alipour, S. (2017). Lived experiences of married women in the early marriage problems. Scientific Research Quarterly of Woman & Culture, 8(30), 31-46. [Persian] [https://jwc.iauahvaz.ac.ir/error_page]
Jain, S., & Kurz, K. (2007). New insights on preventing child marriage: A global analysis of factors and programs. International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). [https://catalog.ihsn.org/index.php/citations/3460]
Kohno, A., Techasrivichien, T., Suguimoto, S. P., Dahlui, M., Nik Farid, N. D., & Nakayama, T. (2020). Investigation of the key factors that influence the girls to enter into child marriage: A meta-synthesis of qualitative evidence. PloS one, 15(7), e0235959. [https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0235959]
Lebni, J. Y., Solhi, M., Azar, F. E. F., & Farahani, F. K. (2020). A qualitative study of social determinants of child marriage in Kurdish regions of Iran: Evidence for health promotion interventions. Journal of Education and health promotion, 9(1), 242-49. [https://www.jehp.net/ article.asp?issn=2277-9531;year=2020;volume=9;issue=1;spage=242; epage=242 ;aulast =Lebni]
Mathur, S., Greene, M., & Malhotra, A. (2003). Too young to wed. The lives, rights, and health of young married girls. Washington, DC: International Center for Research on Women. [http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=]
McCleary-Sills, J., Hanmer, L., Parsons, J., & Klugman, J. (2015). Child marriage: a critical barrier to girls’ schooling and gender equality in education. The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 13(3), 69-80. [https://www.tandfonline.com/ doi/full/10 .1080/15570274.2015.1075755]
Meghdadi, M. M., & Javadpour, M. (2017). Impact of early marriage on children's sexual health and mechanisms of dealing with it. Iranian Journal of Medical Law, 11(40), 31-60. [Persian] [http://ijmedicallaw.ir/browse.php?a_id=705&slc_lang=en&sid =1&printcase=1&hbnr=1&hmb=1]
Mensch, B. S., Singh, S., & Casterline, J. B. (2005). Trends in the timing of first marriage among men and women in the developing world. The changing transitions to adulthood in developing countries: Selected Studies, Eds. C.B. Lloyd, J.R. Behrman, N.P. Stromquist, and B. Cohen. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Forthcoming. [https://books.google.com/ ]
Mourtada, R., Schlecht, J., & DeJong, J. (2017). A qualitative study exploring child marriage practices among Syrian conflict-affected populations in Lebanon. Conflict and health, 11(1), 27. [https://conflictandhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/ s13031-017-0131-z]
Nour, N. M. (2009). Child marriage: a silent health and human rights issue. Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2(1), 51. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/pmc2672998/]
Parsons, J., Edmeades, J., Kes, A., Petroni, S., Sexton, M., & Wodon, Q. (2015). Economic impacts of child marriage: a review of the literature. The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 13(3), 12-22. [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10. 1080/15570274.2015.1075757]
Safavi, H. S., & Minaei, M. (2015). Lived experiences of teenage girls as wives: A case study of girls’ early marriage in Aranvabidgol. Women Studies, 6, 87-106. [Persian] [http://womenstudy.ihcs.ac.ir/?_action=articleInfo&article=1698&lang=en]
Sarfo, E. A., Salifu Yendork, J., & Naidoo, A. V. (2020). Understanding child marriage in Ghana: the constructions of gender and sexuality and implications for married girls. Child Care in Practice, 1-14. [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19371918.2019.1575312]
Tenkorang, E. Y. (2019). Explaining the links between child marriage and intimate partner violence: evidence from Ghana. Child Abuse & Neglect, 89, 48-57. [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0145213419300080]
The Civil Registration (2020). Marriage and divorce statistic: Civil registration website [cited 2020 January 10]. Available from: https://www.sabteahval.ir/ [Persian]
Wahi, A., Zaleski, K. L., Lampe, J., Bevan, P., & Koski, A. (2019). The lived experience of child marriage in the United States. Social work in public health, 34(3), 201-213. [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19371918.2019.1575312]
Wahyuni, N. I., Moedjiono, A. I., & Tamar, M. (2021). Determinant Factors Affecting Intention of Child Marriage to Adolescents in Banggai Laut. Journal of Asian Multicultural Research for Medical and Health Science Study, 2(1), 16-26. [http://www.amrsjournals.com /index.php/jamrmhss/article/view/81]
Yann Le Strat, M. D., Dubertret, C., & Bernard Le Foll, M. D. (2011). Child marriage in the United States and its association with mental health in women. Pediatrics, 128(3), 524-530. [https://publications.aap.org/]