Risk behaviour of primary school learners in a disadvantaged community - a situation analysis

  • Maretha Visser
  • Van der Westhuizen C. Philip


The prevalence of substance use and high-risk sexual behaviour of 460 primary school learners, from four schools in a historically disadvantaged urban area, was investigated. It was found that 14% of the primary school learners in this study currently used alcohol, 4% smoked marihuana, 3% sniffed solvents, 9% used over-the-counter medicines and 2% used illegal drugs. Of the 24% of learners that reported being sexually experienced, only 40% protected themselves from HIV / AIDS and 35% used birth control measures. Furthermore, the learners indicated that they did not experience high levels of support from their families and friends and many of them were exposed to substance abuse in their homes. The majority of the learners were of the opinion that substance use and sexual activity were inappropriate behaviour for their age group. Recommendations are made for prevention strategies aimed at primary school learners.

(South African Journal of Education: 2003 23 (1): 58-64)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100