Is Agency Correlated With Greater Ability of Young Adolescents to Communicate About Sexual and Reproductive Matters? Results From the Global Early Adolescent Study

Caroline Moreau , Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)
Mengmeng Li, Johns Hopkins University
Leah Koenig
Linnea Zimmerman, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Patrick Kayembe, Université de Kinshasa
Chaohua Lou, Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research
Eric Mafuta, University of Kinshasa
José Ortiz, University of Cuenca
Kristin Mmari, Johns Hopkins University
Robert Blum, Johns Hopkins University

Investing in adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is increasingly recognized as a unique opportunity to realize a “triple dividend of benefits”. SRH communication in early adolescence is essential to build early adolescents’ SRH knowledge skills before they engage in sexual activity. This study investigates the extent to which adolescents 10-14 years have ever communicated about sexual relationships, pregnancy and contraception and if greater agency in voice and decision making power increase SRH communication. Drawing from the Global Early Adolescent Study, we included 2,753 adolescents in Kinshasa, 1.778 in Shanghai; and 704 in Cuenca. We found that patterns of SRH communication varied substantially by site, with greater communication in Cuenca than Shanghai and Kinshasa. Adolescents with greater ability to voice their opinions were generally more likely to communicate about sexual relationships and contraception in Kinshasa and Cuenca while decision making power was inconsistently related to SRH communication.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth