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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Child marriage in America:a health risk!
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DR. LISA DANA, blogs.babycenter.com / posted: 08/28/2011, 11:17 pm.
Child marriage involving girls under the age of 18 still exists in the United States. Children who marry are more likely to suffer from a broad range of psychiatric disorders. The most common issues include depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders. There is also an increased risk of nicotine dependence, alcohol and drug use. This research was published today inPediatrics.
Most states require parental consent for marriage under the age of 18. Many of the states require court approval if either person is under the age of 16. However in Texas you can marry as young as 14 with parental approval.
Dr. LeStrat and his colleagues discuss how important it is that we support women married as children. These women are at increased risk of suffering from psychiatric disorders, and may need additional mental health resources.
Women who marry as children have high divorce rates, and do not attain the same levels of education as women who marry as adults. More child brides are black/Alaskan native or Native American. This may reflect a cultural predisposition.
Child marriages are also found to be more prevalent in the southern United States. Southern states were among the states with more lenient marriage laws for children.