Factors affecting effective communication about sexual and reproductive health issues between parents and adolescents in zandspruit informal settlement, Johannesburg, South Africa

Kegaugetswe Motsomi, Chandra Makanjee, Tariro Basera, Peter Nyasulu

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction: communication between parents and adolescents regarding sexuality is an important reproductive health topic. Due to complexities
associated with adolescent's physiological development, sexuality should be dealt with holistically. This study aimed to investigate factors affecting
effective communication between parents and adolescents concerning sexual and reproductive health issues. Methods: an exploratory qualitative
study using the focus group discussions method was done to explore amongst other things; social, cultural and religious barriers to
communication. Thematic content analysis was done. Results: factors identified included: embarrassment when discussing sexual topics;
adolescent misperceptions that guardians want to engage in sexual activities with them; strong belief amongst guardians that reproductive health
discussions with adolescents encourages sexual experimentation; belief that adolescents were too young to understand; non-conducive
environment for open discussions of sexual and reproductive health matters; cultural and religious beliefs. Conclusion: in view of these findings,
there are still barriers in terms of parent-adolescent engagement on issues related to risks associated with sexual behaviours and erroneous
reproductive health choices among adolescents. Therefore, there is a need to encourage engagement by creating neutral platforms facilitated by
community healthcare providers and/ or social workers. This will help create awareness and bridge the communication and interaction gap by
emphasising the importance of effective engagement among adolescents and their parents on matters related to risks associated with sexual
behaviours and erroneous reproductive health choices. Post implantation intervention studies are needed to inform on the outcomes of the
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

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