232931 Influence of parental monitoring and family structure on sexual behaviors among adolescents of urban poor communities in Kenya

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chinelo Okigbo, MBBS , Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: Adolescence is characterized by biophysical changes that prompt anxiety and experimentation. It is a period when, for the first time in their lives, young people have to make sexual behavioral decisions in many situations on their own. Parents play important roles in the lives of adolescents by monitoring their activities, filter and communicate information and services for them. Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa face diverse difficulties as they try to balance the conservative traditional expectations against the increasing mass media exposure to modern ‘ideals'. The reproductive health of adolescents is one area where such struggle is apparent as many adolescents engage in sexual activities with little or no knowledge about how to protect themselves against the risks of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. Methodology: Quantitative data from two most populous slums in Nairobi, Kenya collected by the African Population and Health Research Center will be analyzed to answer these research questions: Does parental monitoring influence: • Age of sexual debut? • Safe sex practices such as male condom use? • Engagement in risky behaviors such as having multiple sex partners? Results: The study is presently on going and the answers to the research questions will contribute to existing knowledge, inform program interventions, and affect reproductive health policies in any nation with comparable socio-demographic situation. Conclusion: The result of this study has implications as the future economic, social and health status of any nation depends on their youth. Efforts should be made to ensure improved well-being of this population through research, policy making and program development.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the existing knowledge on influence of parental factors (such as parental monitoring, parenting styles, parent-child communication) on age at sexual debut and subsequent sexual behaviors among adolescents in low socio-economic communities. 2. Describe the factors that modify the influence of parental monitoring on adolescent sexual risk behaviors. 3. Discuss how factors that influence adolescent sexual health affect their reproductive health later in life.

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research myself and I am a graduate student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.