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Improving the Fit: Adolescents' Needs and Future Programs for Sexual and Reproductive Health in Developing Countries

Jane Hughes and Ann P. McCauley
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 29, No. 2, Adolescent Reproductive Behavior in the Developing World (Jun., 1998), pp. 233-245
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/172161
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/172161
Page Count: 13
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Improving the Fit: Adolescents' Needs and Future Programs for Sexual and Reproductive Health in Developing Countries
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Abstract

Demand is growing in developing countries for sexual and reproductive health programs for young people. However, little scientifically based evidence exists about which program approaches are most effective in shaping healthy behaviors. Careful evaluation and research must be increased, but meanwhile, planners need guidance as they expand programming. Research indicates that current programs often do not match the needs and health-seeking behaviors of young people. Behavioral theories and expert opinion agree that adolescents must be taught generic and health-specific skills necessary for adopting healthy behaviors. Constraints on financial and human resources, coupled with the great size of the youth population, highlight the need to find less costly ways to reach young people. These observations generate six programming principles to help planners and communities experiment with a wide variety of programming approaches.

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