Does Exposure to Early Marriage-Prevention Messages Influence Caretakers' Knowledge and Attitudes? Findings from Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Anastasia J. Gage, Tulane University
Nami Kurimoto, Tulane University
Yemane Berhane, Addis Continental Institute of Public Health (AC-IPH)

Although child marriage is associated with immediate and long-term risks for young people, proven strategies for its prevention are limited. Behavior change communication interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing certain health-risk behaviors but the extent to which public education influences knowledge of and attitudes toward child marriage and its prevention is unknown. Using data from a cross-sectional household survey conducted in Amhara Region, Ethiopia in 2007, this study examined the effect of exposure to child marriage prevention messages on caretakers’ knowledge of marriage laws, age definition of early marriage, and beliefs in girls’ rights to marriage choice. Results of maximum likelihood multivariate regression models indicate that the number of information channels appeared to have a positive impact on the outcomes of interest. Although, it was difficult to assign specific effects to any information source, public education interventions hold promise for altering attitudes and beliefs regarding child marriage.

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Presented in Poster Session 3