Gender and Behaviour

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Parental involvement, religiosity and cognitive distraction as correlates of sexual attitude among adolescents in Lagos Metropolis

Ajala Muniru Alimi


There is persistent and growing concern that adolescents engage in high risk sexual behaviour that predisposes them to reproductive health problems. This is not unconnected with circumstances associated with this transition stage bedeviling with storm and stress, as adolescents in company of their peers, including those of opposite sex, strive to understand, gain mastery and exercise control over events and happenings in the environment. The perceived consensus among opinion leaders in Nigeria that many traditional values/moores are changing rapidly and even for the worse necessitates the need to beam searchlight on correlates of sexual attitude among adolescents. The study was carried out in six selected secondary schools in Badagry, Ojo and Alimosho Local Government areas of Lagos State using cross-sectional design. Three hypotheses were formulated and tested using pearson correlation, multiple regression and linear regression analysis. Data was collected using standardized instruments from 660 participants. Results showed that parental involvement (r=.336; p< .01) and religiosity (r=.466; p<.01) had significant positive relationship with sexual attitude of adolescents while cognitive distraction (r=-.074; p>.05) did not. The result further revealedthat religiosity, cognitive distraction and parental involvement jointly influenced sexual attitude among adolescents [F(3,657)=4.402, p<.05] with the three variables jointly accounting for 63.1% in the variance of sexual attitude among adolescents. Out of age, sex, class and family background, onlyfamily background (β= 0.342, p<.05) influenced sexual attitude among adolescents. In conclusion, it was recommended that parents, teachers, clerics and other welfare professionals have crucial roles to play in modifying sexual attitudes of adolescents.

Keywords: Parental Involvement, Religiosity, Cognitive Distraction, Adolescent, Sexual Attitude

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