Home Institution

Carnegie Mellon University

Publication Date

Fall 2014

Program Name

Jordan: Health and Community Development


The hypothesis of the study assumes: If Syrian refugee families understood the health risks involved with child marriage and the severity of these risks, they would be less likely to choose to marry off their daughter under the age of 18. If these families had more health educational programs and had more access to these programs, these programs would influence their decision towards avoiding child marriage for their daughter(s).

According to UNICEF, one-third of registered marriages among Syrian refugees in Jordan between January and March 2014 involved girls under the age of 18. Child marriage puts girls at risk of health issues involved with premature pregnancy and domestic abuse, and it also cuts their education short. Since this research will look at how the awareness of child marriage’s health risks affect families’ decision about child marriage, it can help organizations and Jordan’s government understand the importance of health education on this issue. For instance, if this study shows that when Syrian refugee families understand more about the long-term risks of child marriage, particularly with health, they choose not to marry their daughter underage, organizations will become more inclined to implement health education programs to spread awareness. If the study shows otherwise, future studies can look into what type of education will discourage child marriage, or what other factors will discourage this trend so that organizations can invest into these factors.

This study’s target group includes Syrian refugee families attending health clinics in Irbid, (preferably families who have experienced early marriage or plan on early marriage), and the following organizations: UNICEF and UNFPA. This study interviewed 4 Syrian refugee families at the Al takaful clinic in Irbid, and interviewed 2 physicians at the clinic. In addition, the study interviewed 2 employees at UNICEF and 2 at UNFPA. This study also surveyed 15 employees at the Al Takaful Clinic, 15 employees at UNICEF and 15 employees at UNFPA.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Health Services Administration | Inequality and Stratification | Maternal and Child Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Race and Ethnicity


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