Patterns and felt needs among college going adolescents regarding communication on sexual and reproductive health: a descriptive study

Sreenidhi Sreekumar, Jayalakshmy Ramakrishnan


Background: Communication between adolescents and their parents regarding sexual and reproductive health (SRH) has been a proven factor in reducing the incidence of SRH illnesses among adolescents. This study tries to explore the patterns of communication regarding SRH between adolescents and their families and their perspectives on communication needs.

Methods: Data were collected from 397 college going adolescents between 18-19 years in Pondicherry from February 2014 to March 2014. The students were administered a pre-tested self-reported questionnaire to collect the required information for the study purpose.

Results: 39.5% adolescents in the study reported communicating at least once in a year with any one parent and 50.6% adolescents discussed with at least any one member of the family during last 5 years. Statistically significant association was found between female adolescents communicating more compared to their male counterparts regarding SRH with any one member in the family as well as with mothers. 50.6% adolescents felt that it is necessary to discuss regarding SRH issues in the family. Almost 38% adolescents preferred mother for discussing SRH and only 6% adolescent preferred father to discuss SRH. Embarrassment and inappropriateness to discuss such topics were the two main hindering factors to initiate discussions on SRH in the family.

Conclusions: Mothers are the most preferred individual in the family to have discussions on SRH for adolescents. Results suggest that encouraging adolescents and creating a need for discussion on SRH may result in more active discussions on such matters in the family.


Adolescents and family, Adolescents India, Adolescent communication on sexual and reproductive health, Reproductive health, Sexual health

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