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Relationship transitions among youth in Urban Kenya

by Shelley Clark, Caroline Kabiru, Rohini Mathur
Journal of Marriage and Family ()
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The process of courtship and marriage in sub-Saharan Africa has changed remarkably. These changes, however, have received scant attention, as recent research has focused on adolescent relationships' links to HIV/AIDS rather than to marriage. Drawing on detailed reports of 1,365 romantic and sexual partnerships from youths in Kisumu, Kenya, we find that marital aspirations, school enrollment, emotional attraction, pregnancy, and independence from kin are all predictors of getting engaged or married. Furthermore, though men and women are much more likely to marry partners they believe are sexually exclusive, men who have multiple partners are actually more likely to get married. By focusing on the contemporary process of marriage, this paper offers an alternative portrayal of premarital relationships in sub-Saharan Africa.

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33 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
58% Social Sciences
27% Medicine and Dentistry
6% Agricultural and Biological Sciences
by Academic Status
30% Student > Ph. D. Student
15% Researcher
15% Professor > Associate Professor
by Country
3% Kenya
3% Ghana
3% United Kingdom

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