Construct Validation of Women's Marital Agency Measure and a Test of Its Association with Contraceptive Self-Efficacy (CSE) Restricted; Files Only

Gebrehanna, Hilawit (Fall 2022)

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Women's empowerment is one of the most critical global targets for overcoming poverty and

ensuring well-being; however, measuring this concept remains a challenge. This study validated

assessments of marital agency as a component of women's empowerment in response to the need

for concrete quantitative measures for key problems (child marriage and forced marriage) of

Sustainable Development Goal 5.3, the elimination of all harmful practices, including child, early,

and forced marriage (IAEG-SDGs, 2017). This study analyzed baseline survey data from

CHARM2, an evaluation of a gender-synchronized family planning intervention in India that

included a measure of marital choice piloted in prior research (McDougal et al., 2018; Raj et al.,

2014). Construct validity was evaluated by testing the associations between marital agency

measures (choice of partner and choice of marital timing) and measures of disempowerment in

marriages. Disempowerment indicators considered are marital practices and experiences that can

impose restraint on women's autonomy at marriage or immediately after (e.g., child marriage) and

those that may be implicated over time (e.g., IPV). Comparisons were made using Fisher's exact

test for categorical variables and k-sample equality-of-median test for continuous variables.

Finally, a multiple regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between marital

agency and another instrumental agency indicator, contraceptive self-efficacy (CSE). Limited

agency in the choice of partner was significantly associated with having an arranged marriage,

child marriage, dowry payments, and lower marital quality. The choice of marriage timing was

associated with all these outcomes and purdah practice. Neither indicator achieved significance in

its correlation with IPV or marital happiness. The second analysis of the marital agency indicators

and CSE was not significant. The construct analysis findings indicate that marital agency measures

are valid and can be used in future studies as tangible measures of forced marriage. However, the

weak association between marital agency and IPV, marital happiness, and CSE indicates that

marital agency has a more substantial effect on women's empowerment at marriage than over time

in marriage, implying the need to investigate further how other empowerment resources and

domains interplay in affecting the level of women's agency over time in their marriages.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Significance of study 3

Research objectives and hypothesis 3

Materials and Methods 4

Data source 4

Ethical considerations 5

Measures and analysis 5

Marital agency 5

Marital characteristics 6

Variables of construct validity 6

Marital satisfaction and safety 7

Variable of associative analysis 7

Contraceptive self-efficacy 7

Analysis 8

Results 9

Discussion 11

Conclusion 15

Reference 17

Appendix Table 1 21

Appendix Table 2 23

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