PARENT-ADOLESCENT COMMUNICATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN SIRISIA SUB-COUNTY, KENYA
Wasike, Hedwick N.
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Adolescents are more than one billion worldwide and more than 75% are found in developing countries and frequently engage in risky sexual behaviors, which result in unprotected sex, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS, unsafe abortions and other reproductive health problems that are the greatest risk to their well-being. In Kenya, inadequate access by adolescents to reproductive health information is one of the key barriers to improved sexual and reproductive well-being and quality of life. However, there is scanty information in Sirisia sub-county on barriers of parent adolescent communication. The broad objective of the study was to evaluate parent- adolescent communication on sexual and reproductive health among secondary school students. Specific objectives of the study were to: determine the level of knowledge of parents and adolescents towards sexual and reproductive health, determine the source of information for adolescent communication on sexual and reproductive health and analyze the factors affecting parent-adolescent communication. This study was guided by a conceptual framework developed by the researcher where by independent variables were level of knowledge, source of information and dependent variable was SRH issues. The study adopted cross sectional research design. The study population was 8547 secondary students. The sample size of the study was made up of 697 secondary students, 29 teachers and 48 parents. Purposive sampling was used to select parents and teachers. Cluster sampling was used to select sample size of 697 students using Fisher’s formulae. Data was collected using structured questionnaire, interview guide and focus group discussion. Piloting of the research instruments was done in Webuye West sub-county to validate and to make research instruments reliable. The reliability coefficient for the questionnaire was 0.75, for interview was 0.78 and for FGD was 0.81. The findings indicate that parent-adolescent communication on sexual and reproductive health in Sirisia Sub County was that level of education of parents influenced adolescent’s perceived knowledge level. Those whose fathers had no education or had attained primary education were 60% less likely to be knowledgeable than those whose parents had secondary or tertiary education (OR: 0.4; 95% CI: 0.3 – 0.6; p < 0.0001), the main source of adolescent SRH information was found to be from peers (OR: 6.6; 95% CI: 3.1 – 13.9; p <0.0001). Cultural norms and fear of discussion are the major factors that affect communication. (OR: 0.2; 95% CI: 0.01 – 0.82; p =0.009) (OR: 0.2; 95% CI: 0.1 – 08; p =0.01). This study will assist secondary school stakeholders, education policy makers and provide extensive knowledge about parent-adolescent communication on SRH issues. Similarly, it will affect paramedics to understand sexual behavioral patterns of the adolescents in the society. The study recommendations include; there should be deliberate efforts made between the parents and adolescents to bridge the cultural & generational communication barriers as identified in the study. There should be proper & flexible channels of communication between parents & adolescents that guarantees the credibility of information shared& efforts should also be made to ensure that communication on SRH between parents, teachers and adolescents are enhanced. Efforts must equally be made to enhance literacy among the parents to ensure that communication between adolescents and the parents on SRH issues are improved.
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