Determinants of Divorce in a Traditional Muslim Community in Bangladesh

Nurul Alam
Sajal K. Saha
Jeroen K. van Ginneken

Date Received:28 May 2000
Date Published:4 September 2000

Abstract:
This study examines the effects of spouses' prior marital status and socio-demographic characteristics on the risk of divorce of 1762 Muslim marriages recorded in 1982-83 in Teknaf, Bangladesh. Grooms' prior marital status was categorized into never married, divorced, widowed or polygynous (already cohabiting with one or more wives) and brides' prior marital status was categorized into never married, divorced or widowed. Divorce was recorded by following the marriages prospectively for five years. Due to the fact that a longitudinal study design was used, the quality of the information presented here is considered to be high. A discrete-time hazard logistic model was used to estimate the effects of spouses' prior marital status and a number of socio-demographic variables on risk of divorce. Polygynous marriage, remarriage and divorce were found to be common in this traditional Muslim community. The odds of divorce were 2.5 times higher for grooms' polygynous marriages and 1.6 times higher for brides' remarriages compared to their peers' first marriages. The odds of divorce decreased with marriage duration. The groom's and bride's low socio-economic status, illiteracy, and early age at marriage increased the odds of divorce. The odds of divorce were much higher if there was no birth in the preceding six months.

Author's affiliation:
Nurul Alam
is with Health and Demographic Surveillance Programme (HDSP), International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)

Sajal K. Saha
is with Health and Demographic Surveillance Programme (HDSP), International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)

Jeroen K. van Ginneken
is with Former head of HDSP, ICDDR,B, and currently with the Netherland Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Hague

Table of Contents:
1.    Introduction
2.    Overview of factors which may influence divorce
3.    Methods
4.    Results
5.    Discussion
6.    Acknowledgements
   References
   Tables

Keywords: Bangladesh, divorce, marriage, polygyny, remarriage

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Word count: 4,391

1. Introduction


Determinants of Divorce in a Traditional Muslim Community in Bangladesh
Nurul Alam, Sajal K. Saha, Jeroen K. van Ginneken
© 2000 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft ISSN 1435-9871
http://www.demographic-research.org/Volumes/Vol3/4