Factors Affecting Adolescent Reproductive Health in Developing Countries

Adolescent sexual and reproductive health concerns have increasingly been on national agendas. For many countries, this concern has been driven by the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among young people. In other countries, a central concern has been early childbearing; and still others have focused predominantly on sexual behaviors among adolescents. This paper tries to determine which risk and protective factors are important for adolescent sexual and reproductive health behaviors.

Education and schooling were shown to be key factors for not only reducing the risk of early sexual initiation, pregnancy, and early childbearing, but also for increasing the likelihood that adolescents will use condoms and contraception when they have sexual intercourse. At the same time, having knowledge and positive attitudes about using condoms and contraception is also important for increasing the likelihood that sexually active adolescents will use them. Therefore, partner support and approval for using condoms and contraception appears to be critical. The factors that protect young people from harm are equally complex. The complexity should not and cannot stop us from acting. Rather, this report should give program planners and policy makers some clues of where the evidence lies as to what influences sexual and reproductive health outcomes.


Reproductive, A. A. (2004). Risk and protective factors affecting adolescent reproductive health in developing countries.

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