Health and psychosocial problems of school adolescents in Jimma Zone, South West Ethiopia

  • Abebe G. Mariam


Background: Currently, both at national and regional levels, there is very little data-based information available on adolescents' health to guide planners, decision makers and service providers to successfully organize and/or provide adolescent health service. Therefore the present study was to assess the health, social, and psychological concerns and problems among adolescents in Jimma Zone.
Method: The study was conducted in the year 1998. The study employed a cross sectional school based survey on a sample of 1840 students, selected proportionally to size from a source population of 11048 in eight Junior and senior high schools. A pre-tested self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data and analyzed using SPSS/PC soft ware.
Result: Eight hundred fifty six (48.0%) and 752(42.0%) reported to have had one or more emotional concern and currently experiencing emotional problems respectively. One thousand five hundred eighty seven (89.0%) and 1327(75.0%) reported one or more health problem concerns such as skin, dental, STD. Having a health problem showed a statistically significant association (P<0.001) with age, grade of the students and educational status of parents. Four hundred fifty eight (26.0%) and 267(14.0%) had one or more sexually related concern and problems. One thousand seventy eight (61.0%) and 933(53.0%) have social related concerns and problems. Age and sex showed a statistically significant (P<0.001) association with social related problems. Three hundred one (18.0%) and 267(16.0%) had one or more substance use concern and substance use problem which showed a statistically significant association (P<0.000) with age, sex, grade residence and education of both parents.
Conclusion: Adolescent concerns about their emotional, sexual, social outlook and substance uses are substantiative. These concerns should be used as an early entry stage to promote and design relevant strategies such as special adolescent/youth health services to address the adolescent needs.

(Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 2001, 15(2): 97-107)

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eISSN: 1021-6790