Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 569

Search results for: adolescent girls

569 Social Norms around Adolescent Girls’ Marriage Practices in Ethiopia: A Qualitative Exploration

Authors: Dagmawit Tewahido

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Purpose: This qualitative study was conducted to explore social norms around adolescent girls’ marriage practices in West Hararghe, Ethiopia, where early marriage is prohibited by law. Methods: Twenty Focus Group Discussions were conducted with Married and Unmarried adolescent girls, adolescent boys and parents of girls using locally developed vignettes. A total of 32 in-depth interviews were conducted with married and unmarried adolescent girls, husbands of adolescent girls and mothers-in-law. Key informant interviews were conducted with 36 district officials. Data analysis was assisted by Open Code computer software. The Social Norms Analysis Plot (SNAP) framework developed by CARE guided the development and analysis of vignettes. A thematic data analysis approach was utilized to summarize the data. Results: Early marriage is seen as a positive phenomenon in our study context, and girls who are not married by the perceived ideal age of 15 are socially sanctioned. They are particularly influenced by their peers to marry. Marrying early is considered a chance given by God and a symbol of good luck. The two common types of marriage are decided: 1) by adolescent girl and boy themselves without seeking parental permission (’Jalaa-deemaa’- meaning ‘to go along’), and 2) by just informing girl’s parents (‘Cabsaa’- meaning ‘to break the culture’). Relatives and marriage brokers also arrange early marriages. Girls usually accept the first marriage proposal regardless of their age. Parents generally tend not to oppose marriage arrangements chosen by their daughters. Conclusions: In the study context social norms encourage early marriage despite the existence of a law prohibiting marriage before the age of eighteen years. Early marriage commonly happens through consensual arrangements between adolescent girls and boys. Interventions to reduce early marriage need to consider the influence of Reference Groups on the decision makers for marriages, especially girls’ own peers.

Keywords: adolescent girls, social norms, early marriage, Ethiopia

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568 A Comparative Study of Public and Private School Adolescent Girls on the Issues of Menstrual Hygiene and the Management Issues

Authors: Ashok Pandey, Rajan Adhikari

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Introduction: Menstruation is part of the female reproductive cycle that starts when girls become sexually mature at the time of puberty. It is a phenomenon unique to the females. During a menstrual period, a woman bleeds from her uterus via the vagina. For decades, in many countries, academic school ‘type,’ private or public, as a predictor of or factor in future academic success has been researched and debated. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The comparative study was carried out with adolescent girls studying in both public and private schools of Kathmandu valley. A total of 100 girls participated in the survey, and out of them 21 participated in the FGD and 5 in the in- depth interview. Quantitative data from the survey was analyzed using SPSS 16.0 software. Informed verbal consent with the respective head of school and the respondents were taken before data collection. Results:The age of the respondents ranges from 11 to 18 years, with mean age of menarche being 12.37 years in both school adolescent girls. 70 percent of the public school adolescent girls and 72 percent of the private school adolescent girls are feeling upset and tension during menarche. There is a statistically significant difference on take rest during the period and good hygienic practice during menstruation of public/private school, at α=0. 05 level of significance. There is a statistically significant difference on overall score of practice during menstruation between public and private adolescent girls. Conclusion: Private schools children are more knowledgeable and maintain hygiene as compere to public school even though, it can be said that among the adolescent school girls both in public and private school, menstrual knowledge and perceptions are poor and practices often not optimal for proper hygiene. Often ignored issues of privacy affect the hygienic practices and daily lives.

Keywords: Comparison, Menstruation, Private school, Public School

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567 A Study of the Understated Violence within Social Contexts against Adolescent Girls

Authors: Niranjana Soperna, Shivangi Nigam

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Violence against women is linked to their disadvantageous position in the society. It is rooted in unequal power relationships between men and women in society and is a global problem which is not limited to a specific group of women in society. An adolescent girl’s life is often accustomed to the likelihood of violence, and acts of violence exert additional power over girls because the stigma of violence often attaches more to a girl than to her doer. The experience of violence is distressing at the individual emotional and physical level. The field of research and programs for adolescent girls has traditionally focused on sexuality, reproductive health, and behavior, neglecting the broader social issues that underpin adolescent girls’ human rights, overall development, health, and well-being. This paper is an endeavor to address the understated or disguised form of violence which the adolescent girls experience within the social contexts. The parameters exposed under this research had been ignored to a large extent when it came to studying the dimension of violence under the social domain. Hence, the researchers attempted to explore this camouflaged form of violence and discovered some specific parameters such as: Diminished Self Worth and Esteem, Verbal Abuse, Menstruation Taboo and Social Rigidity, Negligence of Medical and Health Facilities and Complexion- A Prime Parameter for Judging Beauty. The study was conducted in the districts of Haryana where personal interviews were taken from both urban and rural adolescent girls (aged 13 to 19 years) based on structured interview schedule. The results revealed that the adolescent girls, both in urban as well as rural areas were quite affected with the above mentioned issues. In urban areas, however, due to the higher literacy rate, which resulted in more rational thinking, the magnitude was comparatively smaller, but the difference was still negligible.

Keywords: adolescent girls, education, social contexts, understated violence

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566 An Exploratory Study on Experiences of Menarche and Menstruation among Adolescent Girls

Authors: Bhawna Devi, Girishwar Misra, Rajni Sahni

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Menarche and menstruation is a nearly universal experience in adolescent girls’ lives, yet based on several observations it has been found that it is rarely explicitly talked about, and remains poorly understood. By menarche, girls are likely to have been influenced not only by cultural stereotypes about menstruation, but also by information acquired through significant others. Their own expectations about menstruation are likely to influence their reports of menarcheal experience. The aim of this study is to examine how girls construct meaning around menarche and menstruation in social interactions and specific contexts along with conceptualized experiences which is ‘owned’ by individual girls. Twenty adolescent girls from New Delhi (India), between the ages of 12 to 19 years (mean age = 15.1) participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to capture the nuances of menarche and menstrual experiences of these twenty adolescent girls. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. From the detailed analysis of transcribed data main themes that emerged were- Menarche: A Trammeled Sky to Fly, Menarche as Flashbulb Memory, Hidden Secret: Shame and Fear, Hallmark of Womanhood, Menarche as Illness. Therefore, the finding unfolds that menarche and menstruation were largely constructed as embarrassing, shameful and something to be hidden, specifically within the school context and in general when they are outside of their home. Menstruation was also constructed as illness that programmed ‘feeling of weaknesses’ into them. The production and perpetuation of gender-related difference narratives was also evident. Implications for individuals, as well as for the subjugation of girls and women, are discussed, and it is argued that current negative representations of, and practices in relation to, menarche and menstruation need to be challenged.

Keywords: embarrassment, gender-related difference, hidden secret, illness, menarche and menstruation

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565 Preventable Stress and Trauma, and Menstrual Health Management: Experiences of Adolescent Girls from India

Authors: Daisy Dutta, Chhanda Chakraborti

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Background and significance of the study: Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is poor in many Lower and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) such as India. Poor and inadequate menstrual hygiene has an adverse effect on the health and social life of adolescent girls and women. There are many well-known barriers to adequate Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM); e.g., lack of awareness, lack of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities, lack of affordable menstrual absorbents, etc. But, there is a unique barrier which is very much avoidable; i.e., lack of proper guidance and counseling about menstruation. Menstruation is associated with various social and cultural restrictions and taboos and being a taboo topic; often there is no discussion in the society on this topic. Thus, many adolescent girls encounter the menarche with a lot of unnecessary and avoidable trauma, stress and awkwardness. This trauma, stress, and anxiety are even more prevalent among adolescent girls residing in rural areas. This study argues that this unnecessary stress and anxiety of the adolescent girls can be alleviated by reinforcing social support and adequate information and guidance about MHM and eliminating the futile socio-cultural restrictions during menstruation. Methodology: A qualitative study was conducted in a North-eastern State of India where 45 adolescent girls were interviewed both from rural and urban areas. The adolescent girls were asked about their experiences of stress and anxiety on their first menstruation, their preparedness for menarche, their source of information and guidance, their hygiene-practices, and the various restrictions they follow. Findings: Maximum number of girls did not receive any information about menstruation before menarche. Most of them reported that they were terrified about their first menstruation as they were unprepared. Among those who were aware before menarche, reported that they did not receive proper guidance to manage their menstruation in a hygienic manner. Hygiene-related practices are also influenced by their knowledge about MHM. In maximum cases, girls are bound to follow certain cultural and religious restrictions even if they don’t want to follow which created additional stress in managing their menstruation with dignity. Conclusion: Lack of proper guidance and counseling about menstruation and MHM along with an array of socio-cultural restrictions can enhance a negative attitude in adolescent girls towards menstruation due to which they have to go through an extra and unnecessary burden of stress and trauma. This stress and trauma is preventable by improving the provisions of proper guidance and counseling about menstruation in a supportive environment.

Keywords: adolescent girls, menstrual hygiene management, socio-cultural restrictions, stress, trauma

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564 Exploring the Physical Activity Behavior and Needs of Adolescent Girls: A Mixed-Methods Study

Authors: Vicki R. Voskuil, Jorgie M. Watson

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Despite the well-established health benefits of physical activity (PA), most adolescents do not meet guidelines recommending 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) each day. Adolescent girls engage in less PA than boys, a difference that increases with age. By the 9th grade, only 20% of girls report meeting recommendations for PA with lower percentages for black and Hispanic girls compared to white girls. The purpose of the study was to explore the physical activity (PA) behavior and needs of adolescent girls. Study aims included assessment of adolescent girls’ PA behavior; facilitators of and barriers to PA, PA needs, and acceptability of the Fitbit-Flex 2 activity tracker. This exploratory study used a qualitative and quantitative approach. The qualitative approach involved a focus group using a semi-structured interview technique. PA was measured using the Fitbit-Flex 2 activity tracker. Steps, distance, and active minutes were recorded for one week. A Fitbit survey was also administered to assess acceptability. SPSS Version 22.0 and ATLAS.ti Version 8 were used to analyze data. Girls in the ninth grade were recruited from a high school in the Midwest (n=11). Girls were excluded if they were involved in sports or other organized PA ≥ 3 days per week, had a health condition that prevented or limited PA, or could not read and write English. Participants received a Fitbit-Flex 2 activity tracker to wear for one week. At the end of the week, girls returned the Fitbit and participated in a focus group. Girls responded to open-ended questions regarding their PA behavior and shared their ideas for future intervention efforts aimed at increasing PA among adolescents. Girls completed a survey assessing their perceptions of the Fitbit. Mean age of the girls was 15.3 years (SD=0.44). On average girls took 6,520 steps and walked 2.73 miles each day. Girls stated their favorite types of PA were walking, riding bike, and running. Most girls stated they did PA for 30 minutes or more at a time once a day or every other day. The top 3 facilitators of PA reported by girls were friends, family, and transportation. The top 3 barriers included health issues, lack of motivation, and weather. Top intervention ideas were community service projects, camps, and using a Fitbit activity tracker. Girls felt the best timing of a PA program would be in the summer. Fitbit survey results showed 100% of girls would use a Fitbit on most days if they had one. Ten (91%) girls wore the Fitbit on all days. Seven (64%) girls used the Fitbit app and all reported they liked it. Findings indicate that PA participation for this sample is consistent with previous studies. Adolescent girls are not meeting recommended daily guidelines for PA. Fitbit activity trackers were positively received by all participants and could be used in future interventions aimed at increasing PA for adolescent girls. PA interventions that take place in the summer with friends and include community service projects may increase PA and be well received by this population.

Keywords: adolescents, girls, interventions, physical activity

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563 Engaging Women Entrepreneurs in School Adolescent Health Program to Ensure Menstrual Hygiene Management in Rural Bangladesh

Authors: Toslim Uddin Khan, Jesmin Akter, Mohiuddin Ahmed

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Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and personal health-care practice is a critical issue to prevent morbidity and other reproductive health complications among adolescent girls in Bangladesh. Inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities lead to unhealthy MHM practices that resulted in poor reproductive health outcomes. It is evident from different studies that superstitions and misconception are more common in rural communities that limit young girls’ access to and understanding of the menstrual hygiene and self care practices. The state-of-the-art approach of Social Marketing Company (SMC) is proved to be instrumental in delivering reinforcing health messages, making public health and hygiene products available at the door steps of the community through community mobilization programs in rural Bangladesh. School health program is one of the flagship interventions of SMC to equip adolescent girls and boys with correct knowledge of health and hygiene practices among themselves, their families and peers. In Bangladeshi culture, adolescent girls often feel shy to ask fathers or male family members about buying sanitary napkin from local pharmacy and they seem to be reluctant to seek help regarding their menstrual problems. A recent study reveals that 48% adolescent girls are using sanitary napkins while majority of them are unaware of menstrual hygiene practices in Bangladesh. Under school adolescent program, SMC organizes health education sessions for adolescent girls from grade seven to ten using enter-educate approach with special focus on sexual and reproductive health and menstrual hygiene issues including delaying marriage and first pregnancy. In addition, 2500 rural women entrepreneurs branded as community sales agents are also involved in disseminating health messages and selling priority health products including sanitary napkin at the household level. These women entrepreneurs are serving as a source of sustainable supply of the sanitary napkins for the rural adolescent girls and thereby they are earning profit margins on the sales they make. A recent study on the impact of adolescent program activities reveals that majority (71%) of the school adolescent girls are currently using sanitary napkins. Health education equips and empowers adolescent girls with accurate knowledge about menstrual hygiene practices and self-care as well. Therefore, engagement of female entrepreneurs in school adolescent health program at the community level is one of the promising ways to improve menstrual hygiene practices leading to increased use of sanitary napkin in rural and semi-rural communities in Bangladesh.

Keywords: school adolescent program, social marketing, women entrepreneurs, menstrual hygiene management

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562 Coping Strategies for Stress Used by Adolescent Girls in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Authors: Hafsa Raheel

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Objectives: Secondary school girls, ages 15–19 years old were surveyed to find out the coping strategies they used when stressed. Adolescents, who are affected with stress and depression early in life, suffer from depression throughout their lives, especially if they are utilizing improper ways to cope with it. Methods: A cross-sectional school-based survey among 1028 adolescent girls was conducted among the secondary schools in Riyadh city, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Results: About 25% stated that they cry, 19% listen to music, 15% start eating a lot, 12% sit alone/isolate themselves, 11% pray/read the Quran, 10% get into a verbal argument or a fight. Only a few, 3% exercise, and 2% stated that they find someone to discuss and talk to. Conclusion: The majority of the adolescent girls in our survey rely on emotion-related coping mechanisms rather than problem-solving mechanisms. This can cause long-term implications in these adolescents as there is an increased probability to develop depression later on in life. Policy makers need to implement strategies for early identification of stress and depression. Talking to friends and family can serve as an effective way to cope with stress.

Keywords: adolescents, stress, Saudi Arabia, mental health

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561 Physical Activity in Pacific Adolescent Girls with a Physical Disability

Authors: Caroline Dickson

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While adolescence can be a challenging time, it may also be a time of opportunity. Whereas adolescents with a physical disability negotiate the adolescent developmental stage with similar issues to able-bodied adolescents, they additionally may encounter developmental problems which may impede their adulthood. In part due to the restricted opportunities disabled adolescents experience, they may experience difficulty with mastering this developmental stage. As is well documented, health and wellbeing are positively associated with participating in physical activity. However, the little research available suggested that Pacific adolescents generally are participating in less physical activity than adolescents of other ethnic groups. Objective/Study: The main aim of the study (from a larger mixed method study), was to explore physical activity participation in Pacific adolescent girls with a physical disability in relation to their physiological and psychological wellbeing. The qualitative descriptive study comprised of seven interviews with Pacific adolescent girls and their mothers in a family setting and also included the providers of services to Pacific girls with a physical disability. Including the providers of disability services allowed the researchers to identity a further understanding into challenges of participation for the Pacific adolescent girls and their families while the girls were attempting to participate in physical activity. The purpose of the talanoa (face-to-face interviews that were deemed informal) was to identify partaking and factors influencing participation in physical activity, whilst listening to the voices of the participants. The stories revealed the multitude of factors that influenced physical activity for the Pacific girls with a physical disability. Results: Findings from the qualitative descriptive study found that through physical activity, the Pacific adolescent girls with a physical disability experienced benefits from participation. The findings suggested that these girls wanted to participate in physical activity and clearly indicated the physical activities they preferred. Amongst the physiological and psychological benefits of the Pacific adolescents engaging in physical activity, the adolescents were able to develop positive social relationships, experience autonomy, and generally, their self-worth improved while building confidence. Nevertheless, the adolescents experienced a multitude of factors impeding their engagement in physical activity including cultural stigmas. Their participation was influenced by the interplay of a range of gender, cultural, age-related (adolescence) and socio-economic factors alongside policy and structurally related constraints. Conclusion: Physical activity has the potential to improve the general physiological and psychological health of all adolescents. It should be prioritised particularly in vulnerable populations where they may have limited access. As the Pacific adolescents with a physical activity are dependent on their families for physical activity participation, it is imperative the family be included and consulted. To increase participation, and reduce sedentary behaviours, factors influencing both participation and non-participation need to be considered.

Keywords: Pacific adolescent girls, physical activity, physical disability, qualitative descriptive study

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560 Family Living with Adolescent Mother: The Consequential Effects of Adolescent Pregnancy

Authors: Somsakhool Neelasmith, Darunee Jongudomkarn, Rutja Phuphaibul

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Adolescent pregnancy is a major global concern including Thailand, which has long adopted policies and solutions to prevent such problem. Family is one of the key strategies to drive policy achievement whereas the various families and regional differences will be challenges. This article reports a preliminary study finding using qualitative case study methods, aiming to explore the situation of families living with adolescent mother in the North Eastern of Thailand or ISAN. Data were collected by in-depth interview with six key informants; five adolescent mothers age 14- 19 years and one mother in law of adolescent mother during November to December of 2017. The preliminary suggests that firstly, the adolescent pregnancy was found to be one of the significant issues among most of the families and that adolescent mothers and their family perceived other families were also faced with this problem with despite different conditions. Secondly, the parents assumed simultaneous roles as both parents and grandparents when one of their adolescent girls became an adolescent mother. Lastly, when perceiving that their adolescent daughter became pregnant, families addressed this issue by compromise with the related parties to maintain family and social relationship. This situation can be a potential intractable problem to adolescents and their families. Families may suffer from adolescent pregnancy with respect to health, economy and other family burdens. Moreover, the national development may be affected or delayed since this group of people is considered promising human resource. It is therefore required to further conduct in-depth research to cope with this issue particularly about the policies related to adolescent pregnancy.

Keywords: adolescent mother, adolescent pregnancy, consequential effect, family living with adolescent mother

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559 Adolescent Obesity Leading to Adulthood Cardiovascular Diseases among Punjabi Population

Authors: Manpreet Kaur, Badaruddoza, Sandeep Kaur Brar

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The increasing prevalence of adolescent obesity is one of the major causes to be hypertensive in adulthood. Various statistical methods have been applied to examine the performance of anthropometric indices for the identification of adverse cardiovascular risk profile. The present work was undertaken to determine the significant traditional risk factors through principal component factor analysis (PCFA) among population based Punjabi adolescents aged 10-18 years. Data was collected among adolescent children from different schools situated in urban areas of Punjab, India. Principal component factor analysis (PCFA) was applied to extract orthogonal components from anthropometric and physiometric variables. Association between components were explained by factor loadings. The PCFA extracted four factors, which explained 84.21%, 84.06% and 83.15% of the total variance of the 14 original quantitative traits among boys, girls and combined subjects respectively. Factor 1 has high loading of the traits that reflect adiposity such as waist circumference, BMI and skinfolds among both sexes. However, waist circumference and body mass index are the indicator of abdominal obesity which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The loadings of these two traits have found maximum in girls adolescents (WC=0.924; BMI=0.905). Therefore, factor 1 is the strong indicator of atherosclerosis in adolescents. Factor 2 is predominantly loaded with blood pressures and related traits (SBP, DBP, MBP and pulse rate) which reflect the risk of essential hypertension in adolescent girls and combined subjects, whereas, factor 2 loaded with obesity related traits in boys (weight and hip circumferences). Comparably, factor 3 is loaded with blood pressures in boys and with height and WHR in girls, while factor 4 contains high loading of pulse pressure among boys, girls and combined group of adolescents.

Keywords: adolescent obesity, cvd, hypertension, punjabi population

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558 Parental Awareness and Willingness to Vaccinate Adolescent Daughters against Human Papilloma Virus for Cervical Cancer Prevention in Eastern Region of Kenya: Towards Affirmative Action

Authors: Jacinta Musyoka, Wesley Too

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Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Kenya and the second most common cancer among women, yet preventable following prevention strategies put in place, which includes vaccination with Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine (HPPV) among the young adolescent girls. Kenya has the highest burden of cervical cancer and the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age and is a known frequent type of cancer amongst women. This is expected to double by 2025 if the necessary steps are not taken, which include vaccinating girls between the ages of 9 and 14 and screening women. Parental decision is critical in ensuring that their daughters receive this vaccine. Hence this study sought to establish parental willingness and factors associate with the acceptability to vaccine adolescent daughters against the human papilloma virus for cervical cancer prevention in Machakos County, Eastern Region of Kenya. Method: Cross-sectional study design utilizing a mixed methods approach was used to collect data from Nguluni Health Centre in Machakos County; Matungulu sub-county, Kenya. This study targeted all parents of adolescent girls seeking health care services in the Matungulu sub-county area who were aged 18 years and above. A total of 220 parents with adolescent girls aged 10-14 years were enrolled into the study after informed consent were sought. All ethical considerations were observed. Quantitative data were analyzed using Multivariate regression analysis, and thematic analysis was used for qualitative data related to perceptions of parents on HPVV. Results, conclusions, and recommendations- ongoing. We expect to report findings and articulate contributions based on the study findings in due course before October 2022

Keywords: adolescents, human papilloma virus, kenya, parents

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557 A Road Map of Success for Differently Abled Adolescent Girls Residing in Pune, Maharashtra, India

Authors: Varsha Tol, Laila Garda, Neelam Bhardwaj, Malata Usar

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In India, differently- abled girls suffer from a “dual stigma” of being female and physically challenged. The general consensus is that they are incapable of standing on their own two feet. It was observed that these girls do not have access to educational programs as most hostels do not keep them after the tenth grade. They are forced to return to a life of poverty and are often considered a liability by their families. Higher education is completely ignored. Parents focus on finding a husband and passing on their ‘burden’ to someone else. An innovative, intervention for differently-abled adolescent girls with the express purpose of mainstreaming them into society was started by Helplife. The objective was to enrich the lives of these differently abled adolescent girls through precise research, focused intervention and professionalism. This programme addresses physical, mental and social rehabilitation of the girls who come from impoverished backgrounds. These adolescents are reached by word of mouth, snowball technique and through the network of the NGO. Applications are invited from potential candidates which are scrutinized by a panel of experts. Selection criteria include her disability, socio-economic status, and desire and drive to make a difference in her own life. The six main areas of intervention are accommodation, education, health, professional courses, counseling and recreational activities. Each girl on an average resides in Helplife for a period of 2-3 years. Analysis of qualitative data collected at various time points indicates holistic development of character. A quality of life questionnaire showed a significant improvement in scores at three different time points in 75% of the current population under intervention i.e. 19 girls. Till date, 25 girls have successfully passed out from the intervention program completing their graduation/post-graduation. Currently, we have 19 differently abled girls housed in three flats in Pune district of Maharashtra. Out of which 14 girls are pursuing their graduation or post-graduation. Six of the girls are working in jobs in various sectors. In conclusion it may be noted with adequate support and guidance the sky is the limit. This journey of 12 years has been a learning for us with ups and downs modifying the intervention at every step. Helplife has a belief of impacting positively, individual lives of differently abled girls in order to empower them in a holistic manner. The intervention has a positive impact on differently abled girls. They serve as role models to other differently abled girls indicating that this is a road map to success by getting empowered to live with full potential and get integrated in the society in a dignified way.

Keywords: differently-abled, dual-stigma, empowerment, youth

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556 Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Iron-Deficient Iranian Teenagers Girls

Authors: Eftekhari M. H., Mozaffari-Khosravi H., Shidfar F.

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Background: Many Iranian adolescent girls are iron deficient, but it is unclear whether the iron deficiency is associated with other nutritional risk indicators. Objective: we aimed to investigate the association between iron deficiency and weight status (measured as BMI) among a reprehensive sample of teenage girls. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in a region of southern I.R.Iran. One hundred eighty-seven iron-deficient participants (aged between 11 to 14) were selected by systematic random sampling among all students in grades 1 to 3 from high schools for girls. We assayed hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum ferritin, iron and total iron binding capacity and measured weight and height. Body mass index was calculated according to age and gender-specific BMI growth charts for children 2 to 20 years of age. Results: 13% were at risk for being overweight and 8.3% were overweight. The severity of iron deficiency increased as BMI increased from normal to at risk for overweight and overweight. Iron deficiency anemia was most prevalent among overweight adolescents than at risk for overweight and normal weight adolescents (28%, 18%, and 13%, respectively). Conclusions: The results of this study showed an inverse association of BMI with serum ferritin. Overweight adolescents demonstrated an increased prevalence of anemia. Because of the potentially harmful effects of iron deficiency, obese adolescents should be routinely screened and treated as necessary.

Keywords: adolescent, over weight, iron deficiency, Iran

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555 Comparison of the Emotion Seeking and Attachment Styles of the Runaway and Normal Girls in Iran

Authors: Hassan Gharibi

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This research aims to comparing the emotion seeking and attachment styles between runaway and normal girls. The statistical population consisted of 80 (13-25 year-old) girls were selected among runaway girls and normal girls(40 runaway girls +40 normal girls). Normal girls were matched with the runaway girls in demographic features and selected by simple random method. Measuring tools in this research include the 1993 Shaver and Hazan attachment style scale and the Arent emotion seeking scale. Data analyzed by independent t test. Findings showed that there is no significant difference between two groups of girls in ambivalent and avoidant attachment styles. Secure attachment style rate in normal girls is more than runaway girls. Findings showed significant difference of insecure attachment style (avoidant and ambivalent styles together) between the two groups bout in variable of emotion seeking there is no significant difference.

Keywords: attachment styles, emotion seeking, runaway, girls

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554 Mapping of Risks and Opportunities for Adolescents Girls’ Sexual and Reproductive Health in Peri-Urban Setting in Mwanza, Tanzania

Authors: Soori Nnko, Zaina Mchome, John Dusabe, Angela Obasi

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In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls living in urban and periurban settings are among the groups at increased risk of getting sexually transmitted infections. One of the challenges to improve uptake of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services among adolescents is linked to little appreciation about their vulnerability and the knowledge on availability of the SRH services. Objective: This study assesses adolescents’ perceptions on risks for SRH problems and the availability of services to prevent against SRH problems. Methodology: The study was conducted in March 2011 in Mwanza region, Tanzania. Data collection techniques included 18 Participatory Group Discussions and 17 In-depth Interviews with adolescents and young mothers aged 15-20 years. Results: Adolescents indicated that risk places included their homes, bushes, commercial centers, roadsides as well as school settings. Risk for having unprotected sex varied depending on where you are, and the time of the day. For example, collection of firewood in the bushes or water from the wells exposed girls to men who forced or lured them to have sex. The girls reported to encounter motorcyclists who offered the ride in exchange for sex. Girls also knew myriads places to seek SRH services, including public and private clinics, drug shops and traditional healers. Despite being aware of risky environment, and places to seek the services, access to SRH services were limited due to the stigma and negative attitude of community regarding adolescents’ utilization of SRH services. Conclusion: Adolescents are exposed to various risky environments, yet due to social stigma they have difficult to access the available SRH services.

Keywords: adolescent girls, sexual and reproductive health, AIDS, risk, opportunities, interventions, sub Saharan africa

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553 Differences in Nutritional Awareness Among Urban Semi Urban and Rural Girls of South India

Authors: N. R. Ramkumar

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The foremost aim of physical education has been to inculcate a healthy mind in a healthy body. The aim of this study was to find out the differences in nutritional awareness among urban, semi urban and rural girls of South India. The investigator administered a nutritional awareness questionnaire consisting of 25 statements among 100 rural; 100 semi urban and 100 urban girls studying in different schools in South India. The filled up questionnaire were scored and the total scores for all the twenty five statements were considered as the nutritional awareness level of the subjects. The differences on nutritional awareness among urban, semi urban and rural girls were tested for statistical significance using ANOVA. In all cases 0.05 level was fixed to test the significance. The results proved that there were significant differences on nutritional awareness among urban, semi urban and rural girls (P<0.05). The paired mean comparisons proved that urban girls were having highest nutritional awareness (M: 86.86), followed by semi urban girls (M: 81.86) and then by rural girls (M: 79.48). The differences between urban and semi urban girls and urban and rural girls were significant and there was no significant differences between semi urban and rural girls. The findings of this study proved that rural girls were significantly having lesser nutritional awareness and hence the study recommends the strong need of nutritional education for rural girls in South India.

Keywords: nutrition, awareness, urban, semi urban, rural girls

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552 Development of an Instrument: The Contemporary Adolescent Well-Being Scale (CAWBS)

Authors: Camille Rault, Mark Bahr

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The aim of the present study was to develop a contemporaneous instrument measuring adolescent’s subjective well-being (SWB). The instrument development underwent a three-phase pilot study. Phase one (N = 31) used a qualitative approach to generate domains of SWB relevant to adolescents. During the second phase (N = 22), items were tested targeting these domains. Finally, the third phase (N = 22) assisted in addition, deletion and refinement according to the first two phases of the pilot. A total of 49 items were retained for the final version of the instrument. The Contemporary Adolescent Well-Being Scale (CAWBS) was administered to 1071 school children (599 girls) aged between ten to 18 years old (M = 14,70; SD = 1.45) from Queensland, Australia. Results confirmed the seven-factor construct hypothesized and explained 45% of the variance. The questionnaire pertained to seven domains of adolescent’s SWB, namely; Overall life satisfaction; Bullying; Body image; Social connectedness; Activities; Control appraisal; and Negative feelings. Reliability was shown to be acceptable with Cronbach’s alpha ranging from .58 to .89. Future research should refine the CAWBS and investigate the psychometric properties of this instrument.

Keywords: adolescence, construct validity, instrument, subjective well-being

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551 Variants of Fat Mass Obesity Associated rs 9939609 Associated with Obesity and Eating Behavior in Adolescent of Minangkabau Ethnic

Authors: Susmiati, Ingrid S. Surono, Jamsari, Nur Indrawati Lipoeto

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There are two contradicting opinions on the relationship between fat mass obesity associated (FTO) rs 9939609 variants and obesity on various ethnics and races. The first opinion agrees that there is an association between the two variables, yet another one disagree. Minangkabau ethnic had a different dietary pattern with other ethnics in Indonesia. They had higher fat and low fiber intakes compared to the other ethnics groups. There is little research in genetic factors that influence eating behavior (food preference or food selection). The objective of this study was to investigate the association between FTO rs 9939609 variants with obesity and eating behavior in adolescent girls of Minangkabau Ethnic. The research design was case control study. A total of 275 adolescent girls aged 12-15 years old (130 obese and 145 normal) were randomly chosen from four districts at West Sumatera (Padang, Padang Pariaman, Padang Panjang and Tanah Datar). Genetic variants of FTO rs 9939609 were analyzed with Tetra-primer Amplification Refractory Mutation System-Polimerase Chain Reaction (AMRS PCR), eating behavior were gathered using eating habits questionnaire, and Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated according to BMI Z-score (WHO). The result showed that genetic variants of FTO rs 9939609 (TT, TA and AA genotype) had associated with obesity (p = 0,013), whereas subject with An Allele was significantly associated with obesity (odds ratio 1,62 [95% confidential interval, 1,00-2,60]). Subjects with An Allele carrier reported a higher consumption of fried food (p < 0.05) as compared to TT genotypes carriers. There is no association between genetic variants and meal frequency, fruit and fiber intakes p > 0.05. The genetic variants of FTO rs 9939609 are associated with obesity and eating behavior in adolescent of Minangkabau Ethics.

Keywords: FTO rs9939609, obesity, eating behavior, adolescents

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550 Girls' Underperformance in Science: From Biological Determinism and Feminist Perspectives

Authors: Raza Ullah, Hazir Ullah

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There is ample evidence that reveals the outstanding performance of girls in a different range of subjects. However, it is pertinent to mention here that boys have historically dominated girls, particularly in math, physics, and technological subjects across the globe with the exception of few developed countries. This article examines the reasons why girls are underdog in STEM subjects. The article critically analyzes two main approaches towards gender and education: biological determinist and feminist. This article highlights that social factors influencing girls performance in STEM subjects have not analyzed critically, and girls underachieving in science has linked with biological and sex differences. The article concludes that the underperformance of girls in a STEM subject is the direct response of socio-cultural factors. Thus, socio-cultural factors are responsible for the dearth of girls in STEM subjects.

Keywords: gender, underperformance, STEM, education, sex

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549 A Qualitative Exploration of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Practices of Adolescent Mothers from Indigenous Populations in Ratanak Kiri Province, Cambodia

Authors: Bridget J. Kenny, Elizabeth Hoban, Jo Williams

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Adolescent pregnancy presents a significant public health challenge for Cambodia. Despite declines in the overall fertility rate, the adolescent fertility rate is increasing. Adolescent pregnancy is particularly problematic in the Northeast provinces of Ratanak Kiri and Mondul Kiri where 34 percent of girls aged between 15 and 19 have begun childbearing; this is almost three times Cambodia’s national average of 12 percent. Language, cultural and geographic barriers have restricted qualitative exploration of the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges that face indigenous adolescents in Northeast Cambodia. The current study sought to address this gap by exploring the SRH practices of adolescent mothers from indigenous populations in Ratanak Kiri Province. Twenty-two adolescent mothers, aged between 15 and 19, were recruited from seven indigenous villages in Ratanak Kiri Province and asked to participate in a combined body mapping exercise and semi-structured interview. Participants were given a large piece of paper (59.4 x 84.1 cm) with the outline of a female body and asked to draw the female reproductive organs onto the ‘body map’. Participants were encouraged to explain what they had drawn with the purpose of evoking conversation about their reproductive bodies. Adolescent mothers were then invited to participate in a semi-structured interview to further expand on topics of SRH. The qualitative approach offered an excellent avenue to explore the unique SRH challenges that face indigenous adolescents in rural Cambodia. In particular, the use of visual data collection methods reduced the language and cultural barriers that have previously restricted or prevented qualitative exploration of this population group. Thematic analysis yielded six major themes: (1) understanding of the female reproductive body, (2) contraceptive knowledge, (3) contraceptive use, (4) barriers to contraceptive use, (5) sexual practices, (6) contact with healthcare facilities. Participants could name several modern contraceptive methods and knew where they could access family planning services. However, adolescent mothers explained that they gained this knowledge during antenatal care visits and consequently participants had limited SRH knowledge, including contraceptive awareness, at the time of sexual initiation. Fear of the perceived side effects of modern contraception, including infertility, provided an additional barrier to contraceptive use for indigenous adolescents. Participants did not cite cost or geographic isolation as barriers to accessing SRH services. Child marriage and early sexual initiation were also identified as important factors contributing to the high prevalence of adolescent pregnancy in this population group. The findings support the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports' (MoEYS) recent introduction of SRH education into the primary and secondary school curriculum but suggest indigenous girls in rural Cambodia require additional sources of SRH information. Results indicate adolescent girls’ first point of contact with healthcare facilities occurs after they become pregnant. Promotion of an effective continuum of care by increasing access to healthcare services during the pre-pregnancy period is suggested as a means of providing adolescents girls with an additional avenue to acquire SRH information.

Keywords: adolescent pregnancy, contraceptive use, family planning, sexual and reproductive health

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548 Behavior, Temperament and Food Intake of Urban Indian Adolescents

Authors: Preeti Khanna, Bani T. Aeri

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Background: Recent studies have indicated challenges that hamper health and wellbeing of a vast majority of adolescents in developing countries. Many modifiable factors like behavior and temperament related to food intake among adolescents have not been adequately explored. The aim of the proposed research is to study the impact of behavior and temperament on food intake and diet quality of adolescents. Objectives: In the present study data on dietary behavior and anthropometry of adolescent boys & girls (aged 13-16 years) studying in public schools of Delhi will be gathered to ascertain the quality of diet among adolescent boys and girls and to study the effect of behavior and temperament on diet quality of adolescents. Methods: In total, 400 adolescents will participate in this cross-sectional study. Weight and height of adolescents will be measured and BMI will be calculated. Information will be obtained on their socio-demographic profile and various factors influencing their Food Choices and diet quality such as body image perception, Behavior, temperament, locus of control and parental influence. Expected results: Several direct effects of adolescent traits and behavior on food intake will be observed. Maturational patterns and gender differences in behavior traits will be assessed. By profiling of the behavior and temperament traits, we will have a better understanding of impact of these factors on weight and eating behaviors in overweight/obese or even underweight adolescents. Conclusions: The proposed study will highlight the association of behavioral factors with nutritional status of adolescents. It will also serve as a strategic approach for the obesity prevention and health management policies designed for adolescents.

Keywords: behaviour, temperament, food intake, adolescents

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547 Depression and Associated Factors among Adolescent Females in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Cross‑Sectional Study

Authors: Hafsa Raheel

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Background: Adolescents who suffer from depression early in life, have an increase in suicidal tendency, anxiety, conduct disorders, substance abuse, and continue to be depressed, later on in life. This study was conducted to identify the prevalence and correlates of depression among adolescent girls in Riyadh city in order to carry out early intervention. Methods: A cross‑sectional, school‑based survey was conducted among 1028 adolescent girls aged 15–19 years in secondary schools of Riyadh city. Riyadh was divided into clusters and within each cluster, both public and private schools were enrolled. From the selected schools students from grade 10–12 were surveyed. Survey was conducted using a structured questionnaire including the beck depression inventory‑II, and questions exploring the correlates of depression. Results: About 30% of participants were found to be depressed. Depression was more prevalent among female adolescents whose household income was inferior to 12,000 Saudi Riyal/month (odds ratio [OR] 2.17, confidence interval [CI] 0.97–6.84), did not have a good relationship with peers and family members (OR 4.63, CI 2.56–8.41), lived with single parent or alone (OR 1.77, CI 0.97–3.23), had been emotionally abused (OR 3.45, CI 2.56–8.41), and those who had been subjected to physical violence at least once (OR 3.34, CI 1.89–5.91). Conclusions: Strategies need to be developed to identify early signs and symptoms of depression among Saudi female adolescents. Training can be given to groups of students to help their peers, and also to the teachers to identify, and help students identify early signs of depression and provide them with better‑coping strategies to combat progression of depression and anxiety among such adolescents.

Keywords: adolescents, depression, Saudi Arabia, mental health

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546 Challenges of Technical and Engineering Students in the Application of Scientific Cancer Knowledge to Preserve the Future Generation in Sub-Saharan Africa

Authors: K. Shaloom Mbambu, M. Pascal Tshimbalanga, K. Ruth Mutala, K. Roger Kabuya, N. Dieudonné Kabeya, Y. L. Kabeya Mukeba

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In this article, the authors examine the even more worrying situation of girls in sub-Saharan Africa. Two-girls on five are private of Global Education, which represents a real loss to the development of communities and countries. Cultural traditions, poverty, violence, early and forced marriages, early pregnancies, and many other gender inequalities were the causes of this cancer development. Namely, "it is no more efficient development tool that is educating girls." The non-schooling of girls and their lack of supervision by liberal professions have serious consequences for the life of each of them. To improve the conditions of their inferior status, girls to men introduce poverty and health risks. Raising awareness among parents and communities on the importance of girls' education, improving children's access to school, girl-boy equality with their rights, creating income, and generating activities for girls, girls, and girls learning of liberal trades to make them self-sufficient. Organizations such as the United Nations Organization can save the children. ASEAD and the AEDA group are predicting the impact of this cancer on the development of a nation's future generation must be preserved.

Keywords: young girl, Sub-Saharan Africa, higher and vocational education, development, society, environment

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545 Prevalence of Emotional Problems among Adolescent Students of Corporation Schools in Chennai

Authors: Vithya Veeramani, Karunanidhi Subbaiah

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Emotional problems were found to be the predominant cause of suicide and second leading cause of death among adolescents in India. Emotional problems seem to be the underlying cause for various other severe psycho-social problems experienced in adolescence and also in later years of life. The Corporation schools in Chennai city are named as Chennai High School or Chennai Higher Secondary School run by the Corporation of Chennai. These schools fulfill the educational needs of students who hail from lower socio-economic status living in slums of the Chennai city. Adolescent students of Chennai schools tend to lack basic needs like food, clothes, shelter, etc. Some of the other significant problems faced by them are broken family, lack of parental support, frequent quarrel between parents, alcoholic parents, drug abuse and substance abuse among parents and neighbors, extended family, illiterate parents, deprivation of love and care, and lack of sense of belongingness. This prevailing condition may affect them emotionally and could lead to maladaptive behaviour, aggressiveness, poor interpersonal relationship with others, school refusal behaviour, school drop-out, suicide, etc. Therefore, it is very important to investigate the emotional problems faced by the adolescent students studying in Chennai schools, Chennai. A cross-sectional survey design was used to find the prevalence of emotional problems among adolescent students. Cluster sampling technique was used to select the schools for the present study considering the school as a cluster. In total, there are 15 zones, under the control of Chennai Corporation, of which only 7 zones have Corporation Schools in Chennai city, comprising of 32 Chennai Higher Secondary Schools and 38 Chennai High Schools. Out of these 70 schools, 29 schools comprising of 17 high schools and 12 higher secondary schools were selected randomly using lottery method. A sample of 2594 adolescent students from 9th standard and 11th standard was chosen for the study. Percentage analysis was done to find out the prevalence rate of emotional problems among adolescents students studying in Chennai Schools. Results of the study revealed that, out of 2594 students surveyed, 21.04% adolescent students were found to have academic problems (n = 546), 15.99% adolescent students had social problems (n = 415), behaviour problems was found to be prevalent among 12.87% adolescent students (n = 334), depression was prevalent among 15.88% adolescent students (n = 412) and anxiety was prevalent among 14.42% adolescent students (n = 374). Prevalence of emotional problems among male and female revealed that academic problems were more prevalent compared to other problems. Behaviour problems were least prevalent among boys and anxiety was least prevalent among girls than other problems. The overall prevalence rate of emotional problems was found to be on an increasing trend among adolescent students of low socio-economic status in Chennai city. The findings indicated the need for intervention to prevent and rehabilitate these adolescent students.

Keywords: adolescents, corporation schools, emotional problems, prevalence

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544 Gender, Tutoring, and Track in Egyptian Education

Authors: Eman Shady, Ray Langsten

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In Egypt, girls have traditionally been educationally disadvantaged. This disadvantage, however, has been focused on the failure to enter school. Increasingly it is recognized that girls who ever-enroll are at least as likely to complete primary and secondary education as boys. Still the belief persists that girls, especially those from poor families, will be disadvantaged in terms of school expenditures and the transitions to secondary and higher education. We use data from the 2005-06 Egypt Household Education Survey to examine expenditures on tutoring during the final year of preparatory school, and the transition to specific tracks of secondary education. Tests during the last year of preparatory largely determine a student’s educational future. Results show that girls, even girls from poor families, are not disadvantaged in terms of expenditures, whether for tutoring, fees or general expenses. Moreover, girls are more likely than boys to advance to general secondary education, the track that leads to higher education.

Keywords: gender, tutoring, track, Egypt

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543 Dating Violence and Cultural Acceptance among Mexican High School Students

Authors: Libia Yanelli Yanez-Penunuri, Carlos Alejandro Hidalgo-Rasmussen, Cesar Armando Rey-Anacona

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Cultural and social norms have a great influence on individual behavior, including the use of violence. In this way, culture can protect against violence, but it can also support and encourage the use of violence. The aim of this study was to analyze differences in cultural acceptance and dating violence among Mexican high school students. A Cross-sectional study was carried out with 867 adolescent Mexican students of high school aged 14 to 18 years old in a dating relationship for at least a month in Guzman City, Mexico. To measure cultural acceptance and dating violence, the questionnaire abuse in dating (CMO) was applied. Informed consent to parents and students was requested. Analyses of descriptive and inferential statistics were performed. Participants were adolescent girls (61.4%) and adolescent boys (38.6%). About 63.7% of adolescents reported cultural acceptance of dating violence in their dating relationships. Associations between physical, sexual, economical dating violence and cultural acceptance were found. No association was found between psychological dating violence and cultural acceptance. The effect size in all dimensions was small. For future research, it is very important to take into consideration the change and evaluation of culture norms to prevent dating violence among adolescents.

Keywords: adolescents, culture, social norms, dating violence, students

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542 I Can’t Escape the Scars, Even If I Do Get Better”: A Discourse Analysis of Adolescent Talk About Their Self-Harm During Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy Sessions for Major Depressive Disorder

Authors: Anna Kristen

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There has been a pronounced increase in societal discourses around adolescent self-harm, yet there is a paucity of literature examining adolescent talk about self-harm that accounts for the sociocultural context. The objective of this study was to explore how adolescents with Depression talk about their self-harm engagement in consideration of both socio-cultural discourses and the therapy context during Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) sessions. Utilizing a sample from the Improving Mood with Psychoanalytic and Cognitive Therapies study, discourse analysis was carried out on audio-recorded CBT sessions. The study established three groupings of results: (a) adolescent positioning as stuck in self-harm engagement; (b) adolescent positioning as ambivalent in the talk about ceasing self-harm; and (c) adolescent use of stigma discourses in self-harm talk & constructions of self-harm scars. These findings indicate that clinician awareness of adolescent use of language and discourse may inform interventions beyond Manualized CBT strategies. These findings are highly relevant in light of research that demonstrates CBT treatment for adolescent depression does not effectively address concurring self-harm and given that self-harm is the most significant risk factor predictive of subsequent suicidal behaviours.

Keywords: adolescence, cognitive-behavioral therapy, discourse, self-harm, stigma

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541 Prevalence of Behavioral and Emotional Problems in School Going Adolescents in India

Authors: Anshu Gupta, Charu Gupta

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Background: Adolescence is the transitional period between puberty and adulthood. It is marked by immense turmoil in emotional and behavioral spheres. Adolescents are at risk of an array of behavioral and emotional problems, resulting in social, academic and vocational function impairments. Conflicts in the family and inability of the parents to cope with the changing demands of an adolescent have a negative impact on the overall development of the child. This augers ill for the individual’s future, resulting in depression, delinquency and suicides among other problems. Aim: The aim of the study was to compare the prevalence of behavioral and emotional problems in school going adolescents aged 13 to 15 years residing in Ludhiana city. Method: A total of 1380 school children in the age group of 13 to 15 years were assessed by the adolescent health screening questionnaire (FAPS) and Youth Self-Report (2001) questionnaire. Statistical significance was ascertained by t-test, chi-square test (x²) and ANOVA, as appropriate. Results: A considerably high prevalence of behavioral and emotional problems was found in school going adolescents (26.5%), more in girls (31.7%) than in boys (24.4%). In case of boys, the maximum problem was in the 13 year age group, i.e., 28.2%, followed by a significant decline by the age of 14 years, i.e., 24.2% and 15 years, i.e., 19.6%. In case of girls also, the maximum problem was in the 13 year age group, i.e., 32.4% followed by a marginal decline in the 14 years i.e., 31.8% and 15 year age group, i.e., 30.2%. Demographic factors were non contributory. Internalizing syndrome (22.4%) was the most common problem followed by the neither internalizing nor externalizing (17.6%) group. In internalizing group, most (26.5%) of the students were observed to be anxious/ depressed. Social problem was observed to be the most frequent (10.6%) among neither internalizing nor externalizing group. Aggressive behavior was the commonest (8.4%) among externalizing group. Internalizing problems, mainly anxiety and depression, were commoner in females (30.6%) than males (24.6%). More boys (16%) than girls (13.4%) were reported to suffer from externalizing disorders. A critical review of the data showed that most of the adolescents had poor knowledge about reproductive health. Almost 36% reported that the source of their information on sexual and reproductive health being friends and the electronic media. There was a high percentage of adolescents who reported being worried about sexual abuse (20.2%) with majority of them being girls (93.6%) reflecting poorly on the social setup in the country. About 41% of adolescents reported being concerned about body weight and most of them being girls (92.4%). Up to 14.5% reported having thoughts of using alcohol or drugs perhaps due to the easy availability of substances of abuse in this part of the country. 12.8% (mostly girls) reported suicidal thoughts. Summary/conclusion: There is a high prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems among school-going adolescents. Resolution of these problems during adolescence is essential for attaining a healthy adulthood. The need of the hour is to spread awareness among caregivers and formulation of effective management strategies including school mental health programme.

Keywords: adolescence, behavioral, emotional, internalizing problem

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540 Effectiveness of Peer Reproductive Health Education Program in Improving Knowledge, Attitude, and Use Health Service of High School Adolescent Girls in Eritrea in 2014

Authors: Ghidey Ghebreyohanes, Eltahir Awad Gasim Khalil, Zemenfes Tsighe, Faiza Ali

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Background: reproductive health (RH) is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system at all stages of life. In East Africa including Eritrea, adolescents comprise more than a quarter of the population. The region holds the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion with its complications. Young girls carry the highest burden of reproductive health problems due to their risk taking behavior, lack of knowledge, peer pressure, physiologic immaturity and low socioeconomic status. Design: this was a Community-based, randomized, case-controlled and pre-test-post-test intervention study. Setting: Zoba Debub was randomly selected out of the six zobas in Eritrea. The four high schools out of the 26 in Zoba Debub were randomly selected as study target schools. Over three quarter of the people live on farming. The target population was female students attending grade nine with majority of these girls live in the distant villages and walk to school. The study participants were randomly selected (n=165) from each school. Furthermore, the 1 intervention and 3 controls for the study arms were assigned randomly. Objectives: this study aimed to assess the effectiveness of peer reproductive health education in improving knowledge, attitude, and health service use of high school adolescent girls in Eritrea Methods: the protocol was reviewed and approved by the Scientific and Ethics Committees of Faculty of Nursing Sciences, University of Khartoum. Data was collected using pre-designed and pretested questionnaire emphasizing on reproductive health knowledge, attitude and practice. Sample size was calculated using proportion formula (α 0.01; power of 95%). Measures used were scores and proportions. Descriptive and inferential statistics, t-test and chi square at (α .01), 99% confidence interval were used to compare changes of pre and post-intervention scores using SPSS soft ware. Seventeen students were selected for peer educators by the school principals and other teachers based on inclusion criteria that include: good academic performance and acceptable behavior. One peer educator educated one group composed of 8-10 students for two months. One faculty member was selected to supervise peer educators. The principal investigator conducted the training of trainers and provided supervision and discussion to peer educators every two weeks until the end of intervention. Results: following informed consent, 627 students [164 in intervention and 463 in the control group] with a ratio of 1 to 3, were enrolled in the study. The mean age for the total study population was 15.4±1.0 years. The intervention group mean age was 15.3±1.0 year; while the control group had a mean age of 15.4±1.0. The mean ages for the study arms were similar (p= 0.4). The majority (96 %) of the study participants are from Tigrigna ethnic group. Reproductive knowledge scores which was calculated out of a total 61 grade points: intervention group (pretest 6.7 %, post-test 33.6 %; p= 0.0001); control group (pretest 7.3 %, posttest 7.3 %, p= 0.92). Proportion difference in attitude calculated out of 100%: intervention group (pretest 42.3 % post test 54.7% p= 0.001); controls group (pretest 45%, post test 44.8 p= 0.7). Proportion difference in Practice calculated out of 100 %: intervention group (pretest 15.4%, post test 80.4 % p= 0.0001); control group (pretest 16.8%, posttest 16.9 % p= 0.8). Mothers were quoted as major (> 90 %) source of reproductive health information. All focus group discussants and most of survey participants agreed on the urgent need of reproductive health information and services for adolescent girls. Conclusion: reproductive health knowledge and use of facilities is poor among adolescent girls in sub-urban Eretria. School-based peer reproductive health education is effective and is the best strategy to improve reproductive health knowledge and attitudes.

Keywords: reproductive health, adolescent girls, eretria, health education

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