Did Conflict Create an Early Marriage Crisis? Age at Marriage Among Syrian Refugees in Jordan

Maia Sieverding, American University of Beirut
Caroline Krafft , St. Catherine University
Nasma Berri, American University of Beirut
Caitlyn Keo, St. Catherine University

Since the onset of the Syrian conflict there has been considerable attention to reports of high rates of early marriage among Syrian refugee women. Yet assessing whether early marriage increased among refugee populations has been complicated by data issues. Using nationally representative data from Jordan in 2016 and Syria in 2009, as well as qualitative interviews with Syrian refugee youth in Jordan, we examine changes in age at marriage and drivers of early marriage among Syrian refugees in Jordan. Our results show that the Syrian refugee population now in Jordan had younger ages of marriage than the national (pre-conflict) rate in Syria, since prior to their displacement. Rates of early marriage among the population of Syrians currently in Jordan have remained similar from pre- to post- conflict, both in descriptive terms and as measured by multivariate hazard models.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions