Early Marriage: Trends in Turkey, 1978-2008

Yuksel-Kaptanoglu I., Ergocmen B. A.

JOURNAL OF FAMILY ISSUES, vol.35, no.12, pp.1707-1724, 2014 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0192513x14538025
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1707-1724
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This article analyses trends in early marriage in Turkey over a period of 30 years from 1978 to 2008, and factors associated with early marriage, based on data from the 1978 Turkish Fertility Survey and 2008 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey. The proportion of all women aged 20 to 24 who married before age 18 declined from 38% in 1978 to 14% in 2008. For ever-married women aged 20 to 24 years, the article examines risk factors for the common explanatory variables such as educational level of women, childhood place of residence, type of place of residence, region and spousal age gap, using logistic regression analysis. For women, early marriage is associated with all the explanatory variables in both surveys. Increasing women's education and achievement of gender equality in all spheres of life emerge as essential steps to cope with the problem of early marriage and to eliminate child marriage.