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How Does Child Marriage Contribute to Mental Health Problems?

Throughout childhood, many of their experiences that adults often take for granted end up being lasting memories for the children. As a result, children often have to remedy their occurrences with these memories. One event that often needs remedying, which is also one the largest contributors to mental health problems amongst children, is child marriage: a marriage where at least one or more of the parties becoming married is under 18 years of age. In addition, child marriages are almost always forced or formed artificially, which can be extremely detrimental to the mental states of both parties getting married, usually girls.

Due to the great imbalance of power between parties in most child marriages, this usually robs them of their decision-making skill and education, while making them more exceedingly vulnerable to violence, discrimination and abuse. Along with these handicaps, this prevents them from full participation in economic, political and social spheres. As a result, children, and often girls, are led down a path of damaging and destructive thoughts, mindsets, and emotions, which often lead to a significant number of children with mental health problems.

Along with this unfair reduction in autonomy, the psychological well-being and empowerment of children also suffer. Young girls in child marriages are often denied an appropriate childhood and adolescence, and are subject to an increased incidence of psychological abuse, as well as domestic violence. A lack of personal liberty, an incomplete education, and a shortage of employment and career prospects have proven to lead to the cyclical nature of poverty, gender inequality, and child marriage.

In conclusion, child marriages have a multitude of lasting effects that severely impair many of the minds of children which take part in it. Various social and educational skills are essentially disintegrated, along with increased vulnerability to many of the facets of life that can terribly harm somebody. Psychological traits are often compromised, along with the risk to domestic violence, and basic human rights being violated have also led to key aspects of an individual’s life being torn apart. In an effort to prevent more children to being a victim of child marriage, several organizations have taken a stand to eliminate child marriages. UNICEF and UNFPA have partnered together in such an effort, which launched the Global Effort to End Child Marriage. With the help of programs such as the Global Effort to End Child Marriage, child marriage can become a thing of the past, and individuals like you can make a difference by simply promoting and spreading the word to everyone you know about such programs.

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