India Human Development Survey- II Women's Questionnaire: Marital History - Choice of Spouse

This measure uses 13 self-reported items from the second round of the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS) Women's Questionnaire. IHDS is a nationally representative, multi-dimensional survey conducted across India. This measure captures information about women’s marital history with regard to the choice of spouse. Navigational aspects (i.e. skip-out patterns and next question sequences) have not been included on this page but can be viewed on the original questionnaire located at


Geographies Tested: India

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


1. How long had you known your husband before you married him?

Response Options:
On wedding gauna day only - 1
Less than one month - 2
More than one month but less than one year - 3
More than one year - 4
Since childhood - 5

2. Who chose your husband?

Response Options:
Respondent herself - 1
Respondent and parents Other relatives together - 2
Parents Other relatives alone - 3
Others - 4

3. Did you have any say in choosing him?

Response Options:
No - 0
Yes - 1

4. Before the marriage was fixed, did you get a chance to? Check all that apply:

  • Meet him
  • Talk to him on phone
  • See his photograph
  • Send e-mailinternet chat

Response Options:
No - 0
Yes - 1

5. Did you grow up in the same village town as your husband?
6. Is your husband's family the same caste as your natal family?

Response Options:
No - 0
Yes - 1

7. When you and your husband usually started living together, did you …

Response Options:
Live with his parents (family) - 1
Live with your parents (family) - 2
Live alone - 3

8. How many years did you stay with parents-in-law before moving to a new place?

Response Options:
________ [Years]
Until they died - 90
Still living together - 91

9. At that time, how long did it take you to go to your natal home? [ONE WAY]

Response Options:
________ [in hours]
Hours less than 1 - 1

10. Are any women from your natal family married into this family? If so, what is the relationship?

Response Options:
None - 0
Sister - 1
Aunt - 2
Both - 3
Others - 4

11. Are any women from your natal family married into this village town? If so what is the relationship?

Response Options:
None - 0
Sister - 1
Aunt - 2
Both - 3
Others - 4

12. ASK ONLY IF THE PRACTICE IS PERMITTED: Are you related to your husband by blood? If so, what is the relationship?

Response Options:
No relation - 0
Uncle - 1
Cousin - 2
Others - 3
Not permitted - 9

13. At the time of your marriage, if you compared the economic status of your natal family with your husband's family, would you say your natal family was …

Response Options:
Same - 1
Natal better off - 2
Natal worse off - 3

Scoring Procedures

Not Applicable

Original Citation

Desai, S., & Vanneman, R. (2015). India Human Development Survey-II (IHDS-II). Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. https://doi. org/10.3886/ICPSR36151. v6.

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