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Predictors of Sexual Debut Among Young Adolescents In Nairobi's Informal Settlements

Milly Marston, Donatien Beguy, Caroline Kabiru and John Cleland
International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Vol. 39, No. 1 (MARCH 2013), pp. 22-31
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23408824
Page Count: 10
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Predictors of Sexual Debut Among Young Adolescents In Nairobi's Informal Settlements
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Abstract

CONTEXT: There is a need to better understand the various social, psychosocial and behavioral factors associated with sexual activity among young adolescents in various settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Data were drawn from Wave 1 (2007—2008) and Wave 2 (2009) of the Transition to Adulthood study, which collected information about key markers of the transition to adulthood and social, demographic and psychosocial characteristics of male and female youth living in two informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine variables associated with experience of sexual debut by Wave 2 among youth who were aged 12—16 and sexually inexperienced at Wave 1. RESULTS: Of the 1,754 youth in the sample, 92 experienced sexual debut between survey waves. For both males and females, sexual debut was positively associated with having permanently dropped out of school (odds ratios, 6.9 and 21.8, respectively), having never attended school (8.6 and 39.4) and having experienced severe family dysfunction (2.8 and 5.7). Lack of parental supervision was a predictor of sexual debut among males only (10.1), whereas low aspiration was a predictor among females only (10.4). Surprisingly, young women, as well as men, who did not have high self-esteem were less likely than those who did to initiate first sex between waves (0.4 and 0.3). CONCLUSIONS: Study findings underscore the importance of school attendance, family dysfunction, parental supervision and self-esteem in driving sexual behavior in this age-group. Further studies are warranted to elucidate how these factors can be addressed in prevention programs for young adolescents. Contexto: Es necesario entender mejor los diferentes factores sociales, psicosociales y conductuales asociados con la actividad sexual de los adolescentes jóvenes en varios entornos del África subsahariana. Métodos: Los datos fueron obtenidos a partir de las Etapas 1 (2007—2008) y 2 (2009) del estudio de Transición a la edad adulta, que recolectó información sobre factores clave en la transición a la edad adulta y sobre las características sociales, demográficas y psicosociales de hombres y mujeres jóvenes que vivían en dos asentamientos informales en Nairobi, Kenia. A través de un análisis de regresión logística, se examinaron las variables asociadas con la experiencia del debut sexual, en la Etapa 2, de los jóvenes que tenían 12—16 años y eran sexualmente inexpertos en la Etapa 1. Resultados: De los 1.754 jóvenes de la muestra, 92 experimentaron su debut sexual entre las dos etapas de la encuesta. Tanto para los hombres como para las mujeres, el debut sexual demostró estar asociado con el hecho de haber abandonado la escuela definitivamente (cociente de probabilidad de 6,9 y 21,8 respectivamente), de no haber asistido nunca a la escuela (8,6 y 39,4) y de haber experimentado una seria disfunción familiar (2,8 y 5,7 respectivamente). La falta de supervisión por parte de los padres demostró ser un factor de predicción del debut sexual solamente entre los hombres (10,1), mientras que la falta de aspiraciones lofue solamente entre las mujeres (10,4). Sorprendentemente, tanto las mujeres como los hombres jóvenes que no tenían alta autoestima mostraron una menor probabilidad de tener su primera relación sexual entre las etapas de la encuesta (0,4 y 0,3) que quienes sí la tenían. Conclusiones: Los hallazgos del estudio subrayan la importancia de la disfunción familiar, la supervisión de los padres, la participación cívica y la autoestima como determinantes de la conducta sexual en este grupo de edad. Es necesario realizar estudios adicionales para elucidar cómo se puede abordar estos factores en los programas de prevención dirigidos a jóvenes adolescentes. Contexte: Il existe un besoin de mieux comprendre les divers facteurs sociaux, psychosociaux et comportementaux associés á l'activité sexuelle des jeunes adolescents dans divers contextes d'Afrique subsaharienne. Méthodes: Les données proviennent des vagues 1 (2007—2008) et 2 (2009) de l'étude Transition to Adulthood, basée sur l'information collectée sur les marqueurs clés de la transition vers l'âge adulte et les caractéristiques sociales, démographiques et psychosociales des jeunes hommes et femmes vivant dans deux quartiers marginaux de Nairobi (Kenya). L'étude procéde par analyses de régression logistique pour examiner les variables associées à l'expérience des premiers rapports sexuels à la vague 2 parmi les jeunes âgés de 12 à 16 ans sans expérience sexuelle à la vague 1. Résultats: Des 1.754 jeunes compris dans l'échantillon, 92 avaient vécu leurs premiers rapports sexuels entre les deux vagues de l'enquête. Chez les garçons comme chez les filles, le moment des premiers rapports sexuels est associé positivement à la déscolarisation permanente (OR, 6,9 et 21,8, respectivement), à l'absence totale de scolarisation (8,6 et 39,4) et à l'expérience d'un grave dysfonctionnement familial (2,8 et 5,7). L'absence de surveillance parentale ne s'avére un prédicteur de premiers rapports que du côté masculin (10,1), alors que les faibles aspirations le sont côté féminin seulement (10,4). Étonnamment, les jeunes femmes, comme leurs homologues masculins, dont l'estime personnelle était plutôt faible se révèlent moins susceptibles que les autres d'avoir eu leurs premiers rapports sexuels entre les vagues 1 et 2 (0,4 et 0,3). Conclusions: Les résultats de l'étude soulignent l'importance du dysfonctionnement familial, de la surveillance parentale, de la participation civique et de l'estime de soi dans la détermination du comportement sexuel dans le groupe d'âge considéré. Des études plus approfondies permettraient d'éclaircir l'approche à adopter à l'égard de ces facteurs dans les programmes de prévention visant les jeunes adolescents.

Notes and References

This item contains 53 references.

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