Communications between Parents and Sexually Active Youth: In the Case of Gulele Subcity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Sexual and reproductive health problems of adolescents in Ethiopia are rising from time to time. This may be associated with different reasons. Different researches done in different countries had shown that good fami ly communication regarding sexual risk behavior has been positively associated with open discussion between parents and adolescents. There are different factors affecting communications between parents and adolescents regarding SRH issues which are uncovered. In particular parents failed to communicate with their adolescent children on sensitive issues of sexuality. Thus Communication between them about reproductive health issues was found difficu lt and minimal. The study was done in an attempt to identify those factors and the influence of parent-adolescent communication on SRH issues. More over the study was done to investigate the association between socia-cultural and economic determinants and the communications between parents and adolescents on SRH. In the study both qualitative and quantitative methodologies were employed .A cross-sectional descriptive study involved in 382 purposively selected Students. A pre- tested structured anonymous questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data, which was entered, cleaned and analyzed us ing SPSS version 19.0 statistical package. The study also employed bivariate correlation to evaluate the degree of relationship between the two variables. Qualitative information was obtained from six homogenous focus group discussions of student participants (each three groups from male and female participants), depth interviews of sixteen parents and five key informants ' interviewees. A total of sixteen interviews were done with parents of both sexes and the data analysis was done thematically to answer the basic research questions. The majority of the respondents (74.3%) reported that they never discussed on SRH issues with their parents. But ninety of the respondents (25.7%) said that they discussed with their parents .The respondents who preferred their mother to discuss on SRH issues were (56.2%).Two hundred sixteen of the respondents (63.3 %) reported that they did not discuss with neither of their parents in the topics of SRH. Ninety seven of the respondents (28.4%) reported that they discussed with their parents rarely. Traditional norms, Cultures, sensitiveness of the issue and lack of communications skill, these were alleged to prohibit parents from discussing some issues of reproductive health, especially issues of sexuality with their children. The overall research finding shows that there is low communication between parent and adolescent on different SRH issues with different reasons for not discussing. Hence, based on the findings obtained in this study it is recommended that comprehensive family life education should be initiated for the students and parents in school, home, religious institution, and health facilit ies (ONE to FIVE Urban Health Extension Workers Approach) for effective communication to occur on SRH. In addition programs working in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) should include parents to address parental influences on adolescents' reproductive health and work to alleviate those factors which affect communication between parent and adolescents. There is also needed to develop appropriate interventions for empowering parents to communicate with their adolescent (children) about the full range of sexual and reproductive health issues.



Communications between Parents