Sociodemographic characteristics and psychiatric evaluation of girls who were married at younger age and referred for criminal evaluation

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Anadolu Psikiyatri Dergisi, ISSN: 1302-6631, Vol: 14, Issue: 2, Page: 136-144

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Nusret Soylu; Muhammed Ayaz
ScopeMed International Medical Journal Management and Indexing System
Nursing; Medicine
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Objective: Although the early marriage has decreased worldwide, considerable proportions of girls continue to marry as children. The aim of this study was to examine sociodemografic characteristics, and diagnosis of mental disorders of girls who married younger than 15 years and referred for criminal evaluation. Methods: Forty-eight girls who reported marriage prior to age 15 years, and at the time of evaluation prior to age 18 years were evaluated. Case files, and social observation reports were examined retrospectively by the researchers. The diagnoses of mental disorders were determined with clinic mined that 45.8% of cases had at least one mental disorder diagnosis and the most frequent diagnoses were major depressive disorder, and adjustment disorder. Posttraumatic stress disorder was detected in 8.2% of cases. 22.9% of cases were married without their consent. 14.6% of cases exposed to physical abuse, and 27.1% of cases had emotional violence by the person they married. 29.2% of cases reported suicidal ideation and 20.8% of cases had suicide attempts. When cases were categorized according to sociodemographic characteristics, a higher rate of mental disorder was found in the cases including marriages of those who did not want to marry, who did not know the person they married before the marriage, who lived in extended families after marriage, who married with people without jobs (unemployed, in prison, at military service), and those exposed to physical and emotional violence by the person they married. Discussion: Although the sample of our study comprises only cases were referred for criminal evaluation, our findings revealed that girls who were married at younger ages were at risk for mental disorders. Our results suggest that essential steps should be taken to protect mental health, and prevent early marriages.