Spousal communication and women’s health-seeking behavior for STDs: the role of seasonal migration

Arusyak Sevoyan, University of Adelaide
Victor Agadjanian, Arizona State University

This study adds to the scant research on the association between labor migration and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It builds upon earlier findings that left-behind women had higher risks of contracting STDs than women married to non-migrants. Using a sub-sample of women reporting STD symptoms in a 2007 survey in rural Armenia, a setting with high rates of seasonal male migration and STDs, we examine how migration influences spousal communication about STDs, and how this association, in turn, affects women’s health seeking behavior. The preliminary findings show that migrants’ wives reporting STD symptoms were less likely to talk to their husbands about these symptoms than women married to non-migrants. We also find that women married to migrants were less likely to seek professional care for their STD symptoms than those married to non-migrants, and that this effect was positively moderated by their communication about these symptoms with their spouses.

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Presented in Session 78: Sexually transmitted diseases: risks and stigma

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