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Barriers to Communication Between Parents and Adolescents concerning sexual and reproductive health issues: A case study of Kinondoni municipality, Tanzania

Nundwe, C. S. (2012) Barriers to Communication Between Parents and Adolescents concerning sexual and reproductive health issues: A case study of Kinondoni municipality, Tanzania. Masters thesis, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences.

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Abstract

Parent-adolescent communication regarding reproductive health issues is more likely to reduce adolescent risk-taking sexual behaviors although some communication takes place on particular reproductive health issues but not others. In particular parents fail to communicate with their adolescent children on sensitive issues of sexuality like condom use, puberty, STIs, and physical development, but do so on less sensitive ones such as the effects of HIV. . Communication between parents and adolescents about reproductive health issues, however, is difficult for parents. To describe the barriers to communication between parents and adolescents concerning sexual and reproductive health issues. Material and Methods: A descriptive exploratory qualitative study was conducted among parents with adolescent (children) in July-August 2012. A total of fourteen interviews were done with parents of both sexes in Kinondoni Municipality, Dar es Salaam. The study used the in-depth interview tool, and focused on social, cultural and economic barriers to communication. Qualitative data analysis was done to answer the research questions. The study found that communication between parents and their adolescent children concerning reproductive health issues take place on some issues and not others. Specifically issues of sexuality and condom use tend to be avoided. When communication takes place it is on topics which are not very sensitive, and tends to be perfunctory and the study identified the following barriers to communication: Gender differences between parents and their children, Parents felt that it was a shameful thing to communicate with children of the opposite sex, fearing that this could be misconstrued by the children to mean that the parent wants to have sex with them. Low education status of parents, parents expressed the feeling that if they communicate with their children about reproductive health issues they might be directing them to engage in sexual experimentation. They also thought that their children were still too young to know about reproductive health issues. Being married, married couples tended to divide responsibilities as to which one of them was responsible for communicating with their children on reproductive health issues. Traditional norms, these were alleged to prohibit parents from discussing some issues of reproductive health, especially issues of sexuality with their children. Religious beliefs, these were alleged to prohibit talking to their adolescent children especially about STIs, HIV/AIDS, early pregnancy prevention and condom use. Occupation, the economic activities in which parents were engaged were blamed for keeping the parents too busy to take time to talk with their adolescent (children), this is the barrier to communication as parents have little time to be with their children. Communication between a parent and his or her child is one of the most important part of parenting, though not an easy one. It requires ongoing attention and time although it is difficult to both parents. There is need to develop appropriate interventions for empowering parents to communicate with their adolescent (children) about the full range of sexual and reproductive health issues.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Keywords: Adolescence,Reproductive Health, risk behaviour, children, condom use, STIs, puberty
Subjects: Health Systems > Community Health
Sexual & Reproductive Health > Sexually transmitted infections
Divisions: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS)
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 06:15
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2013 06:15
URI: http://ihi.eprints.org/id/eprint/1642

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