Effect of child marriage on girls’ school dropout in Nepal: Analysis of data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2014

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School dropout and child marriage are interrelated outcomes that have an enormous impact on adolescent girls. However, the literature reveals gaps in the empirical evidence on the link between child marriage and the dropout of girls from school. This study identifies the 'tip-ping point' school grades in Nepal when the risk of dropout due to marriage is highest, mea-sures the effect of child marriage on girls' school dropout rates, and assesses associated risk factors. Weighted percentages were calculated to examine the grades at highest risk and the distribution of reasons for discontinuing school. Using the Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2014 data, we estimated the effect of marriage on school attendance and dropout among girls aged 15–17 by constructing logistic regression models. A multivari-ate logistic regression model was used to assess risk factors of school dropout due to child marriage. It was found that early marriage is the most common reason given for leaving school. Overall, the risk of school dropout due to marriage heightens after girls complete the fifth or sixth grade. The risk of girls' dropping out peaks in the seventh and eighth grades and remains noteworthy in the ninth and tenth grades. Married girls in Nepal are 10 times more likely to drop out than their unmarried peers. Little or no education of the household head, belonging to the Kirat religion, and membership of a traditionally disadvantaged social class each elevate the risk of school dropout due to early marriage. The findings underscore the need to delay girl's marriage so as to reduce girls' school dropout in Nepal. School-based programmes aimed at preventing child marriage should target girls from the fifth grade because they are at increased risk of dropping out, as well as prioritizing girls from dis-advantaged groups.




Sekine, K., & Hodgkin, M. E. (2017). Effect of child marriage on girls’ school dropout in Nepal: Analysis of data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2014. PLoS ONE, 12(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180176

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