Family dynamics and sexual behaviour of in-school adolescents in a rural community in Southwest Nigeria
Background: Family characteristics could contribute to the burden of adolescent sexual problems in Nigeria, especially in the rural communities
where cultural values are strongly upheld. Previous studies had not considered the relationship between the spectrum of family characteristics and adolescent sexual behaviour. This study was conducted to determine the relationship between family dynamics and sexual behaviour among in-school adolescents in a rural community in southwest, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted using cluster sampling method to select 373 students from 5 public schools. Asemi structured interviewer-assisted questionnaire was used to obtain information on a spectrum of family factors such as family structure, consistency, stability, functionality etc., and sexual behaviour. Sexual behaviour was determined using sexual experience in the preceding 12-months and use of condom at last sexual intercourse. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test at p=0.05.
Results: Mean age was 16.2±1.5 years and 61.7% were females. Above half (56.0%) were from functional family, 86.3% lived with both parents. 66.7% of their parents were married and living together, 60.4% received social support and 38.6% were from polygamous family setting. About one-fifth were sexually active and of these, 45.1% had sex 12 months preceding the survey and 52.1% used condom in the last sexual intercourse. Adolescents from poorer family (p =0.001) and those with inadequate social support (p=0.001) were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour.
Conclusion: Risky sexual behaviour was commoner among in-school adolescents from poor family and those with inadequate social support.
Interventions to address family-related determinants of risky sexual behaviour are hereby advocated among policy makers.