Parent-child relationships and the use of reproductive health services by school-attending adolescent girls: case of Imo State, Nigeria

Ezinwanne Christiana Dike, University of Ibadan
Ajibola Falaye, University of Ibadan

Access to, coverage of, and utilization of sexual and reproductive health services are very vital in preventing unwanted pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). It is also vital for the overall social and physical wellbeing of women, more especially adolescents. However, while most studies in this area are concentrated in developed countries, there are few studies that researched on the factors that influence utilization of sexual reproductive health services in less developed countries. Guided by Andersen and Newman’s Framework of Health Services Utilization, this study explored how the relationship between parents and their adolescent girls in secondary schools in Imo state, Nigeria influences the latter’s utilization of sexual and reproductive health services. Using a cross-sectional survey involving a representative sample of 1800 female secondary school students between the ages of 14-19, data was collected using a questionnaire instrument. Results from bivariate analysis revealed a positive significant relationship in parent-child relationship and use of sexual and reproductive health services. Parent-child relationship was measured by the degree to which parents are close to, support and communicate with their adolescent girls. Sexual and reproductive health services are services like contraceptive use, treatments of STIs, ante- and post-natal services, HIV counseling and testing, etc. Findings also showed that there was a joint contribution of Parental Closeness, Support and Communication on the use of services. Analysis of the relative contribution showed that although Parental Communication and Closeness were significant. Parental Closeness was not. This study has implication for both public and non-governmental programs. It will also aid to develop best practices for interventions among secondary school adolescent girls and their parents. This will consequently help to reduce mortalities and morbidities caused by non-use of sexual health services. Keywords: parent-child relationship, adolescent, sexual health, service utilization, Nigeria

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Presented in Session 65: Adolescents and youth sexuality