SOMATIC SYMPTOMS AND RELATED FACTORS OF EARLY-AGE MARRIAGE AMONG WOMEN: A POPULATION-BASED CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY
Aim: Child marriage still persists for various reasons in numerous countries and cultures including primarily the underdeveloped or developing countries in South Asia and North Africa. In this study, our aim is to focus on the frequency of child marriage as well as the family characteristics and socio-cultural factors pertaining to marriage, frequency of domestic violence, and somatic symptoms such as pain of unknown origin among the women.
Methods: Our study was conducted using a questionnaire presented to 454 women aged 17-65 living in the provincial centre of Diyarbakir.
Results: The families of 17.3% of the participants had a history of migration before the marriage. Close-kin marriage was present between the parents of 31.1% of the women. Among the participants, 17.3% were subjected to physical abuse and 1.8% were subjected to sexual abuse before the marriage. Among the women, 33.3% replied that they had chronic pain of unknown origin which the physicians could not diagnose.
Conclusions: We have observed that chronic pains of unknown origin pointing to somatisation are more frequent among women who get married before the age of 18. The results of our study point out that underage marriage has an impact not only on sexual and reproductive health, but also on general health.
Key Words: Early age marriage, health consequences, pain of unknown origin
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