Influence of Multiple Media Channels on Adolescents’ Knowledge and Intentions to use Contraceptives: A quantitative Study of Amasaman, the Capital of Ga West District Assembly in Ghana
Available literature depicts a strong association between exposure to mass media and intentions to use contraceptives in Ghana. However, little is known about the influence of multiple media on the reminiscence of exact contraceptive messages and intentions to use contraceptives among in- school and out-of-school adolescents. This article, therefore, examines adolescents’ exposure to multiple media messages on contraceptives and its implications on message reminiscence. Their knowledge of the types of contraceptives, their intentions to use contraceptives and their perceptions of usage were also studied. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted in Amasaman, the capital of Ga West District Assembly in Ghana. Quantitative data were collected from systematically sampled adolescents in-school and out-of-school. The findings indicate that all the adolescents had ever been exposed to media messages on contraceptives, but few had intentions to use a contraceptive within the year preceding the survey. The adverse intentions to use contraceptives were influenced considerably by their fear of being caught due to cultural norms against sexual intercourse at their stage, preference for abstinence based on religious doctrines and poor knowledge of contraceptive usage. Old adolescents (15-19 years) were exposed to multiple media messages on contraceptives more than young adolescents (10-14 years), while majority understood contraceptive messages from radio and television. Generally there was positive association between exposure to multiple media and recollection of contraceptive messages. In conclusion, multiple media should be used to disseminate elaborative contraceptive messages to adolescents, in order for them to make informed choices and as a result enhance a healthy reproductive life. We suggest that the content of the messages should address negative religious and cultural perceptions about contraceptives, as well as educating them further on the available contraceptive methods.