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Marriage Transitions and HIV/AIDS in Malawi

  • 2007-2011
  • Project
Beegle, Kathleen, World Bank

Study: “Marriage Transitions and HIV/AIDS in Malawi”
PI(s): Beegle, Kathleen
Co-PI(s): Ozler, Berk; Poulin, Michelle
Affiliation(s): World Bank
Institutional Partner(s): World Bank
Project Dates:
Start: January 2007
End: June 2011
Data Source(s): Panel Data Collection
Methods: Multivariate Regression Analysis
Geographic Location(s): Malawi

The set of decisions made in the transition to adulthood—including when to exit school, when to marry, and when to seek employment—is critical with respect to a young person’s well-being over the life course. The focus of previous research on the critical junction to adulthood has mostly centered on how the timing of school-leaving affects future well-being. However, timing of first marriage and employment are also likely to affect well-being, but these two periods are understudied. The goal of this research project was to collect innovative longitudinal data on a sample of young adults in Malawi to understand the links between nonmarital relations and sexual experiences, transitions into marriage, socioeconomic status (both prior to and after marriage), and the spread of HIV/AIDS. By following a cohort of young, initially never-married adults, the project studied the socioceconomic and other conditions that precipitate marriage, including teenage pregnancy and early marriage. As the study continued and individuals married, the project also explored the fertility outcomes and socioeconomic consequences associated with marriage, including incidence of HIV/AIDS, and the variation in outcome by the characteristics of marriages. The study followed 1,185 unmarried women and men in the Salima district in Malawi. The respondents were interviewed for at least three years beginning in 2007, and the project continued to collected detailed socioeconomic information, sexual partnering information, and HIV status of respondents and their spouses. The results show that girls and young women are now more likely to move than young men, mainly because of marriage. Closer ties to the head of the household were associated with less movement for both women and men.

Research Outputs:

Beegle, Kathleen, Poulin, Michelle & Shapira, Gil. (2015). HIV Testing, Behavior Change, And The Transition To Adulthood In Malawi. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 63(4), 665-684.

Beegle, Kathleen & Poulin, Michelle. (2013). Migration and the Transition to Adulthood in Contemporary Malawi. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 648(1), 38-51. DOI: 10.1177/0002716213481329

Beegle, Kathleen, & Poulin, Michelle. (2012). Migration and the transition to adulthood in contemporary Malawi (World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6200).

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