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Teenage Marriages: Understanding The Complex Factors And Implications

February 29, 2024

6 min read

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Author : United We Care
Clinically approved by : Dr.Vasudha
Teenage Marriages: Understanding The Complex Factors And Implications


Historically, teenage marriages have been a common practice across cultures and continents. However, in recent times, these marriages have been proven to be an ill social practice. While different cultures have wavering opinions on the matter, the underdeveloped biology of the couple points toward several risks and complications. 

Altogether, different countries have now established a minimum age criteria for getting married. It is important to note that many countries have set varying criteria for men and women. Also, different countries have dissimilar age criteria, creating further confusion about the right age to get married. 

Causes Of Teenage Marriages 

Essentially, all of us have heard about instances where two teenagers eloped to get married out of love. However, there are several causes of teenage marriages other than romantic interests. Around the world, marriages have existed as a social institution for reproduction and family. 

However, there are no clear guidelines on the age and development stage at which marriage is optimal. This puts individuals who marry too early at risk of emotional and physical turmoil. Despite the risks, teenage marriages continue to take place around the world. Let’s discuss the causes that lead to teen marriages. 

Teenage Marriages: Understanding The Complex Factors And Implications

Rituals And Arranged Marriages

Undoubtedly, most ancient cultures have evidence of early childhood and teenage marriages. Over time, early marriages became a ritual or symbolic practice of several communities, tribes, and religions. Unfortunately, this practice of getting individuals married as soon as they hit puberty or even earlier continues to exist. Families arrange and prepare children from early years to get married as soon as possible for economic and social advantage as well. 

Teenage Pregnancy 

Originally, the concept of marriage was created to streamline the process of child-rearing. A married couple has several social, legal, and emotional benefits as compared to two unmarried individuals. Also, with the normalization of dating and premarital sex, the chances of unsafe sex practices have increased. 

Practically, most countries around the world continue to fail to provide awareness and basic sex education. This has led to a rise in teenage pregnancies. To provide stable parenting to the unborn child, many societies force pregnant teenage couples to marry. This preserves the social structure of the family in the long run according to such societies. 

Poverty And Financial Insecurities 

Perhaps the commonest cause of teenage or early marriages across cultures continues to be financial upliftment or financial security. Individuals who live below the poverty line or are poor on basic resources struggle to make ends meet. For such individuals, marriage acts as a way of garnering support and financial aid through the marital association. 

What Are Complex Factors Of Teenage Marriage?

Inherently, any marriage is built on the hope of increasing familial associations and support. However, it appears to present several specific challenges and ill effects if the individuals getting married are prone to exploitation and difficulties. Especially if the individuals involved are teens who are not fully mature enough to handle the challenges of marriage and adulthood. Therefore, teenage marriages are associated with several complications and need to be discussed in detail. 

Lack Of Education 

Specifically, lack of education leads to early childhood or teenage marriage in a couple of ways. Firstly, families from uneducated backgrounds do not fully comprehend the biological and psychological burden that can occur due to early marriage. Secondly, uneducated persons are more likely to be married off early due to the low prospect of them becoming self-sustaining adults. 

Social And Economic Status

Historically, marriages were used as a way to forge political alliances as they bound the families of the couples into a bigger single social entity (extended family). Similarly, in modern times, the extension of support in uplifting social and economic status can be achieved through marriages. To achieve this, families try to compete for prospective matches in prominent families as soon as they can and might not consider individual factors such as age. 

Religious Influence

Likewise, many religions and religious communities around the world believe in increasing progeny as a way of following religious traditions. Therefore, they expand the chances of a higher number of offspring by getting teens married as soon as they hit puberty instead of considering age as a relevant factor.

Implication Of Teenage Marriages 

As discussed above, teenage marriages continue to thrive due to complex factors and multiple causes. Despite its prevalence, they continue to create detrimental effects on the individuals who get married early. One of the most dangerous effects of early marriage is its impact on sexual and reproductive health. 

Particularly, teen pregnancy can lead to severe health risks for the mother. Teenagers are at risk of developing STIs and other associated complications due to underdeveloped minds and bodies. Besides this, the emotional and mental toll of becoming parents at an early age is overlooked. It leads to dysfunction for both the parents and the child. 

Moreover, females who are married off early are susceptible to various forms of abuse and exploitation. Firstly, they are more likely to be burdened with domestic work and child-rearing, creating financial dependence. In scenarios where the girls are married off early to older men, they are often subjected to verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. 

Why Should You Stop Teenage Marriages? 

In essence, teenage marriages result in dysfunctions and maladaptations for families as well as individuals involved. Stopping teenage marriages can have benefits, including increased maturity, better parenting, and family skills. It also reduces the load on the economy as it gives teenagers time to seek employment and contribute financially. 

Furthermore, teenage marriage often increases the gender gap as more females are forced to stay home to take care of the children and the house. Instead, delayed marriages can help women have educational and career advancements without social pressures. 

Finally, the biggest drawback of early marriages is the impact incurred on the physical, emotional, and mental health of teens. Marriages can put undue pressure on early pregnancy and forced parenting for which the teens are not equipped.   


In brief, teenage marriages originated as a result of several complex economic, religious, and social factors. They continue to be in practice due to individual factors such as low levels of education and finances. Early-age marriage is associated with an increased risk of ill health, both physically and mentally. It is important to control and reduce teenage marriages. Families need to be educated to understand the poor implications of such associations. For expert advice, reach out to our professionals as United We Care.


[1] G. Dahl, “Early Teen Marriage and Future Poverty,” Demography, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 689–718, 2010, doi: https://doi.org/10.1353/dem.0.0120.

[2] Javad Yoosefi Lebni, Mahnaz Solhi, F. Ebadi, Farideh Khalajabadi Farahani, and Seyed Fahim Irandoost, “Exploring the Consequences of Early Marriage: A Conventional Content Analysis,” Exploring the Consequences of Early Marriage: A Conventional Content Analysis, vol. 60, p. 004695802311599-004695802311599, Jan. 2023, doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/00469580231159963.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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