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Is who I am what you think I am? Parental perception and children's report of adolescent sexual behaviour: A call for counsellors' intervention

AG Akintomide


The aim of the study was to find the congruence between reports of parents and their children on adolescent sexual behaviour. It was an exploratory study carried out among a number of adolescent students and parents in three local government areas of Osun State, Southwest Nigeria. 551 literate and semi-literate parents and 576 senior secondary students were involved in the study. The sample size was drawn in stages using random and purposive sampling techniques. Two set of questionnaire were used to collected data. The first was administered on the parents while the other was for the students. One research question and three hypotheses were raised. The results revealed that there was a wide disparity between parents’ perception of their children’s sexual behaviour and the actual sexual behaviours reported by the adolescents. About 79.1% of the adolescents reported that they were involved in high risky sexual behaviours while only 22.0% of the parents believed that their children were involved in such behaviours. It was further established that the level of parent-child sexual communication was very low, with the fathers’ lower than the mothers’ and that the parent sexual communication have no positive influence on adolescent sexual communication (χ2 = 30.14, p = 0.000). It was therefore concluded that most of Nigerian adolescents are not what their parents think they are in terms of their involvement in sexual activities.

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print ISSN: 0189-0263