Its perspective of adolescent reproductive health behaviour in a suburban town in Nigeria.Niger J Med. 2006 Jul-Sep; 15(3):255-9.NJ
Parent/Adult Child communication has been shown to influence adolescent reproductive health behaviour Adults need to pass correct information across to youths to help them make proper decisions that will promote their health. The objective of this study was to assess the attitude of parents to adolescent reproductive health behaviour in a suburban Nigerian town.
This cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out in Ikenne, Ogun State. A Semi-structured questionnaire was used to gather information from 370 adults who were chosen by multi-staged sampling method.
About two-thirds of the adults surveyed (62.2%) were against premarital sex among adolescents. Although 46.8% said it was permissible for adolescents to use contraceptives, 87.1% will react negatively if they found contraceptives with their children. The condom was the most commonly approved contraceptive method for adolescents by 60.7% of those who approved of adolescents use of contraception, consisting of 14.6% of all the parents in the study. The major reasons against contraceptive use by adolescent were the promotion of promiscuity (41.5%) and infertility in the future (24.9%). Although gender difference was not statistically significant, the females expressed a more conservative attitude to adolescent sexuality and contraception than males; they were less likely to approve of sexual activity among young people (17.8% versus 23.6%) or contraceptive use by them (44.6% versus 49.2%). Eighty seven percent (87%) of those that had children/ward above 12 years had discussed sexuality issues with them. The major form of advice was sexual abstinence and the possibility of unplanned pregnancy. Only 8.5% had advised them about contraception. While 74.1% had approved of sex education in schools, only 31.9% approved of teaching about condom in schools.
Adults are interested in the reproductive health of their children. Programmes that seek to involve parents in promoting the sexual health of youths will make significant progress if they specifically target parents (especially women) with information about the context of adolescent sexuality and address their misgivings.