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To what extent do familial and residential trajectories and premarital sexual initiation influence the timing of first marriage in Cameroon?

Estelle Sidze, Université de Montréal

Using retrospective data collected by the Cameroon Family and Health Survey, this article examines the determinants of marriage timing by gender with emphasis on differentials related to childhood family and residential status, transitions in living arrangement, and residential stability. Event history analyses indicate that, for women, living with biological parents but being cared for by other relatives or non relatives and living in a family headed by an uneducated parent during childhood are significantly associated with a younger age at first marriage. A transition in living arrangement is also associated with a faster transition into marriage. In contrast, the marital timing for men is more dependent upon the childhood residential status than on family status or transition. There is also evidence that the impact of childhood family status on the timing of first marriage is mediated by premarital sexual initiation.

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Presented in Session 8: Trends and determinants in union formation