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  • School of Public Health

    AG 8: Demography and health

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Universität Bielefeld

Behaviour among Adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa - Determinants and Reasons for Behavioural Changes, the Example of Nigeria

Sexual risk behavior, such as the early debut of sexual activity, unprotected sexual intercourse, and/or having multiple sexual partners can have a variety of consequences, both on an individual and societal level. It increases the likelihood of contracting HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, miscarriage, illegal/unsafe abortions, and increased rates of infant and maternal mortality. Adolescents are disproportionally affected due to their comparatively low maturity, hormonal changes, lack of parental and social support, and generally increased risk-taking behavior. Nigeria is the country with the sixth-highest number of adolescents globally (41.23 mio.). At the same time, it is disproportionally affected by negative health outcomes going along with sexual risk behavior. Despite various national and international efforts, sexual risk behavior among adolescents and its adverse health outcomes remains a major public health problem that requires further investigation and target-group oriented interventions.

To be able to effectively reduce unwanted or unconsciously practiced sexual risk behavior among adolescents, it is important to determine both individual and structural causes for behavioral changes in recent years. This project aims at investigating the causes of changes in adolescents’ sexual risk behavior, using Nigeria, one of the countries with the youngest population in the world, as an example. A focus is placed on sex-specific differences. The findings of this project will contribute to our understanding of the needs of the specific target groups and consider these needs when designing preventive measures aiming at reducing unconsciously practiced SRB. In the long term, this can contribute to the improvement of sexual and reproductive health and better protection of young people’s rights.

picture of risk behavior

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