Equality for Women and Girls

School Dropout, Child Marriage, and Early Pregnancy among Adolescent Girls in Rural Honduras

This article examines intersections between schooling, child marriage, and adolescent pregnancy in a longitudinal, mixed-methods study of Honduran girls. It explores (a) girlsenrollment and dropout of school patterns and how these relate to timing of marriage and/or childbirth, (b) the factors associated with dropout, early marriage, and/or early childbearing, and (c) reenrollment patterns after marriage/childbirth. We find that household income in early adolescence predicts school dropout, early union, and early childbearing. Most girls discontinued their studies due to lack of financial resources or no longer wanting to be a student rather than due to marriage or motherhood. Only a small percentage return to school. This study can inform the timing and nature of efforts to protect girls and increase their chances of successfully completing secondary school,delaying marriage, and preventing early pregnancy. Listen to the podcast here.

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