Age-disparate relationships (ADR) with older men have been studied mostly in the context of HIV and found to be associated with increased HIV prevalence among young women in sub-Saharan Africa. Less is known about the impact of ADR on the broader life course of women. The objectives of this study are to identify the factors associated with being in ADR and estimate the association between ADR and a set of life outcomes in Manicaland, Zimbabwe. We used data from a general population open-cohort survey from 1998 to 2013 in Manicaland. We applied binary logistic regression models to estimate the odds ratios for association between socio-demographic determinants and ADR and multinomial logistic regression models to estimate the association between ADR and women's life outcomes. We found that women with less education, younger age at first sex and first marriage were more likely to be in ADR, and women in ADR have male partners with less education and less skilled employment. In terms of life and relationship outcomes, women in ADR had mostly negative life outcomes compared to women not in ADR. Future policies and research on ADR in women should reflect these complexities and study a wider range of life outcomes, beyond the commonly studied narrower topics such as HIV.
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- Age disparity
- Age-disparate relationship