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Adolescents, Volume 1, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 11 articles

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Review
Interventions and Strategies to Improve Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes among Adolescents Living in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 363-390; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030028 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Adolescent access to quality sexual and reproductive health and rights has been a major issue in most low- to middle-income countries (LMICs). This systematic review aims to identify the relevant community and school-based interventions that can be implemented in LMICs to promote adolescents’ [...] Read more.
Adolescent access to quality sexual and reproductive health and rights has been a major issue in most low- to middle-income countries (LMICs). This systematic review aims to identify the relevant community and school-based interventions that can be implemented in LMICs to promote adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health and rights. We identified 54 studies, and our review findings suggested that educational interventions, financial incentives, and comprehensive post-abortion family planning services were effective in increasing their knowledge and use of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR) services, such as contraception, which led to a decrease in unwanted pregnancies. However, we found inconclusive and limited evidence on the effectiveness of interventions for improved violence prevention and adolescent behavior towards safe sexual practices. More rigorous studies with long-term follow-ups are needed to assess the effectiveness of such interventions. Full article
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Commentary
The Impact of School Closure on Adolescents’ Wellbeing, and Steps towards to a New Normal: The Need for an Assessment Tool Update?
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 360-362; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030027 - 05 Sep 2021
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Close to 200 countries have implemented school closures to decrease the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Though the closures have seemed necessary, their effects on the wellbeing of children and adolescents have raised serious concerns. To truly understand the impact of such disruption [...] Read more.
Close to 200 countries have implemented school closures to decrease the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Though the closures have seemed necessary, their effects on the wellbeing of children and adolescents have raised serious concerns. To truly understand the impact of such disruption on young people’s wellbeing, and their views on how to move towards a new normal, we must adopt different approaches to gather the data to secure children’s and adolescents’ rights to be heard in the issues that concern their lives. Current ways to examine the impacts of school closure have been dominated by gathering information concerning the children and adolescents, using mainly existing wellbeing indicators and related questionnaire surveys. Although such sources of information are important, they provide limited understanding of how children and adolescents have experienced school closures, especially if they have been produced using measures developed purely by adults. There is a need for information produced by children and adolescents themselves, which may require going beyond existing and pre-COVID theoretical wellbeing frameworks. By capturing information produced by children and adolescents, we can more effectively guide the development and evaluation of public health policies and identify solutions to mitigate the negative impacts of school closure, or to acknowledge the possible positive effects, and respond accordingly. Full article
Article
“Diabetes Makes You Feel Lonely When You’re the Only One”: A Qualitative Study of Identity Development among Young People Living at a Residential Care Facility for People with Diabetes
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 348-359; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030026 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Young people with poorly regulated diabetes often experience recurrent hospitalization, behavioral problems, higher incidence of psychiatric disorders, as well as family dysfunction. It is crucial that young people with diabetes learn to manage their diabetes effectively. Some young people with diabetes cannot manage [...] Read more.
Young people with poorly regulated diabetes often experience recurrent hospitalization, behavioral problems, higher incidence of psychiatric disorders, as well as family dysfunction. It is crucial that young people with diabetes learn to manage their diabetes effectively. Some young people with diabetes cannot manage their diabetes at home and have to live at a residential care unit for young people with diabetes. In this study we highlight the identity development of these young people. The data consist of semi-structured interviews with current and former residents of a care facility for young people with diabetes. The analysis revealed three themes: (1) the young people report a high level of personal growth and maturity after moving to the care home; (2) the importance of identifying with others and how forming relations plays a significant role in the young people’s personal development; and (3) the young people have a constant fear of being different. Being able to define and shape one’s identity against a background that includes a meaningful perception of diabetes is key to understanding why life at the care home is so identity-changing for the young residents. Full article
Article
Association between Menstrual Hygiene Management and School Performance among the School-Going Girls in Rural Bangladesh
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 335-347; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030025 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 373
Abstract
Background: This study investigated the relationship between menstrual hygiene practices and academic performance among rural Bangladeshi adolescent girls. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among the 499 secondary-school-going adolescent girls in grades 7–10 (aged 11–17 years, mean ± SD = 14.04 ± [...] Read more.
Background: This study investigated the relationship between menstrual hygiene practices and academic performance among rural Bangladeshi adolescent girls. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among the 499 secondary-school-going adolescent girls in grades 7–10 (aged 11–17 years, mean ± SD = 14.04 ± 1.11 years) attending either public or private institutions in rural Bangladesh. Menstruation hygiene management (MHM) was defined based on three indicators such as (i) change materials (pads/cloths) less than every 6 h, (ii) hand washing practice with soap before and after changing pads/cloths, or not washing the external genitalia at least once per day, and (iii) using a sanitary pad or drying of re-usable cloths under direct sunlight. The MHM was categorized as poor (if not practicing or practicing only one issue), average (if practicing only two issues), or good (if practicing all of the issues). School performance was determined by the total marks obtained in their last final examination (<60% marks defined as low performance and ≥60% marks defined as good performance). Binary logistics regression models were developed at the <0.05 significance level. Results: The mean age of the participants was 12 years, where 83% reported a regular menstrual cycle pattern. Overall, prevalence of practicing poor, average, and good MHM were found to be 28.46%, 55.71%, and 15.83%, respectively. About 52% of girls reported using sanitary napkins (manufactured disposable pads), 43.4% reported using pieces of reusable cloths per occasion (multiple uses), and almost all (96.29%) reported using detergents to clean multiple-use cloths. We found 2.9 times (AOR: 2.90, 95% CI: 1.61–5.24) and 5.7 times (AOR: 5.65, 95% CI: 2.72–11.71) higher odds to achieve good academic performance among those who practiced ‘average’ and ‘good’ MHM after adjusting age, education, paternal education, occupation, maternal education, household wealth status, and respondent’s knowledge of menstruation. Conclusions: Results suggested that girls’ school academic performance can be improved by practicing good menstrual hygiene practices. School-based menstrual hygiene management education could be useful. Full article
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Article
Effectiveness of Native STAND: A Five-Year Study of a Culturally Relevant Sexual Health Intervention
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 321-334; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030024 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Culturally relevant interventions have the potential to improve adolescent health and protective factors associated with sexual risk taking. We evaluated the impact of the Native STAND curriculum with American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN or Native) high school students living across the U.S. [...] Read more.
Culturally relevant interventions have the potential to improve adolescent health and protective factors associated with sexual risk taking. We evaluated the impact of the Native STAND curriculum with American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN or Native) high school students living across the U.S. using a pre-post evaluation design. Native STAND is a comprehensive sexual health curriculum for Native high school students that focuses on sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, and teen pregnancy prevention, while also covering drug and alcohol use, suicide, and dating violence. The curriculum was implemented in 48 AI/AN communities from 2014 to 2019. A significantly higher percentage of youth reported at post-test having a serious conversation about sex with their friends (post 36% vs. pre 28%, p < 0.001), thinking about lessons learned (post 24% vs. pre 7%, p < 0.0001), and sharing lessons learned during the conversation (post 21% vs. pre 4%, p < 0.001). A lower percentage of AI/AN youth reported being bullied in the last year (post 31% vs. pre 37%, p < 0.001). Family social support was moderated by dose, with subscale scores of 3.75 at post-with <27 sessions vs. 3.96 at post-with all 27 sessions (p = 0.02). The results demonstrate the effectiveness of Native STAND when delivered in a variety of settings. Efforts are now underway to update Native STAND for medical accuracy, improve alignment with typical class periods, and promote its use and an effective EBI for AI/AN youth. Full article
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Article
Social Determinants of Narcotics Use Susceptibility among School-Attending Adolescents in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 306-320; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030023 - 03 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 442
Abstract
Balanced medical and criminal justice approaches addressing determinants of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) use are central to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 16. However, data on AOD use in resource-poor settings are characterised by relative paucity and anecdote. [...] Read more.
Balanced medical and criminal justice approaches addressing determinants of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) use are central to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 16. However, data on AOD use in resource-poor settings are characterised by relative paucity and anecdote. This study aimed to describe and analyse AOD use susceptibility and its determinants among school-attending adolescents in the capital Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Survey data were collected through a locally adapted Planet Youth questionnaire in June 2017 across 16 schools in Bissau. The 2039-strong sample was selected through a multi-stage, random cluster process. Participants’ lifetime alcohol use was 27.3%, smoking 10.8%, and cannabis use 3.6%. In each instance, the ‘15 years and above’ age bracket was the most common initiation period, signifying increased instigation in later adolescence. Subsequent Varimax Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of 312 variables captured data-driven models of AOD use susceptibility, implying imitated, polydrug use among initiates. Linear regression analysis revealed drinking, group violence, male gender, school dismissal and relationship breakdown as explanatory variables. Overlapping predictive variables suggest singular interventions may pre-empt myriad antisocial behaviours. PCA offers alternatives to singular, potentially myopic quantifications of drug use. PCA facilitates the creation of context-sensitive composite variables, enabling the identification of related outcome behaviours relevant to studies’ sociocultural settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders)
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Article
Perceptions of Gender Equality among Icelandic Year 10 Adolescents: Population Studies 1992, 2006, and 2014
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 294-305; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030022 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 516
Abstract
The aim of this research is to outline, for the first time, the changes in attitudes towards gender equality among 10th graders in Iceland based on data obtained from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) in 1992, 2006, and 2014. The sampling [...] Read more.
The aim of this research is to outline, for the first time, the changes in attitudes towards gender equality among 10th graders in Iceland based on data obtained from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) in 1992, 2006, and 2014. The sampling proportions were high (85.1% in 1992, 43.2% in 2006, and 77.9% in 2014), thereby reflecting parameters (population values) rather than statistics (sample values). Boys and girls are viewing gender roles as being more equal with time, while, concurrently, girls tend to have more gender-equal attitudes than boys. The present paper provides an unparalleled examination of changes in attitudes towards gender equality. After a backlash in adolescents’ attitudes, revealed in the 2006 study, there are positive signs of more gender-equal attitudes in the 2014 results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequality in Adolescence)
Article
Siblings as a Context for Positive Development: Closeness, Communication, and Well-Being
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 283-293; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030021 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
To address a gap in the literature we examined sibling relationships as a context for positive development. Specifically, the relationships between individual well-being, sibling closeness, and frequency of sibling communication were explored. The goal of this study was to determine whether individual well-being [...] Read more.
To address a gap in the literature we examined sibling relationships as a context for positive development. Specifically, the relationships between individual well-being, sibling closeness, and frequency of sibling communication were explored. The goal of this study was to determine whether individual well-being moderated the relationship between frequency of sibling communication and perceived sibling closeness. Participants included a subsample (n = 236) of youth from a larger study who reported having at least one sibling. Data were collected through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that associations between frequency of sibling communication and sibling closeness were statistically significant, sibling communication and closeness were highly correlated, regardless of individual differences. Neither emotional, psychological, nor social well-being moderated the relationship between frequency of sibling communication and sibling closeness. Limitations and future directions are considered. Full article
Article
“God Didn’t Make a Mistake in Creating Me”: Intrapersonal Resilience Processes among Gay and Bisexual Male Youth in Kenya
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 267-282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030020 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Gay and bisexual male youth in Kenya experience human rights violations, including pervasive stigma and discrimination, and these oppressive forces are associated with elevated rates of mental health concerns. Despite these challenges, many gay and bisexual male youth in Kenya are thriving during [...] Read more.
Gay and bisexual male youth in Kenya experience human rights violations, including pervasive stigma and discrimination, and these oppressive forces are associated with elevated rates of mental health concerns. Despite these challenges, many gay and bisexual male youth in Kenya are thriving during this critical developmental period. This study explored intrapersonal processes that gay and bisexual male youth in Kisumu, Kenya, highlight as important to developing, and demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity. We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews (IDIs) with 40 gay and bisexual male youth, ages 20–30 (mean = 26.4), and an additional 20 IDIs with gay and bisexual men, ages 22–45 (mean = 26.6), who were working as peer educators (total n = 60), all in Kisumu, Kenya. A total of nine primary themes emerged which describe various intrapersonal resilience processes enacted by gay and bisexual male youth, including sexual identity acceptance, self-confidence, self-love, religious/spiritual affirmation, adaptive coping, successful navigation, legal rights awareness, economic stability, and advocacy satisfaction. These data demonstrate the range of positive personal processes that promote mental health and wellbeing among gay and bisexual male youth in Kenya. We discuss implications of these findings for community-based interventions, and call for a research paradigm shift away from deficits and toward resilience. Full article
Article
Ethnic Identity, Implicit Associations, and Academic Motivation of Hispanic Adolescents
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 252-266; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030019 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 485
Abstract
One of the major tasks of adolescence is to integrate the different aspects of identity into a coherent sense of self. Prior research has found that under certain circumstances, students who identify as members of groups about which there are negative stereotypes can [...] Read more.
One of the major tasks of adolescence is to integrate the different aspects of identity into a coherent sense of self. Prior research has found that under certain circumstances, students who identify as members of groups about which there are negative stereotypes can experience a disassociation between their academic identity (i.e., academic self-concept) and the aspect of their identity that is negatively stereotyped (i.e., their ethnic or gender identity). In this study, we examined the association between ethnic identity, academic self-concept, valuing of school, and feelings of belonging among a sample of Hispanic high school students attending a majority-Hispanic high school. In addition, we used an Implicit Associations Test (IAT) to assess their implicit associations between success and ethnic group (Hispanic or white). Results indicated that centrality of ethnic identity was positively correlated with academic self-concept and the regard dimension of ethnic identity was associated with feelings of belonging. The IAT indicated that Hispanic students had implicitly associated success more with being white than with being Hispanic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequality in Adolescence)
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Concept Paper
An Early Beginning of Citizen Science: Adolescents Experiencing Urban Energy Usages and Air Pollution
Adolescents 2021, 1(3), 225-251; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/adolescents1030018 - 23 Jun 2021
Viewed by 733
Abstract
Here, we report on the process and development of high school science projects, which were inspired by a citizen science program focused on urban monitoring. We gathered and discussed two 1980s projects’ data, involving 2600 students, 80 teachers, 15 scientists and 20 stakeholders. [...] Read more.
Here, we report on the process and development of high school science projects, which were inspired by a citizen science program focused on urban monitoring. We gathered and discussed two 1980s projects’ data, involving 2600 students, 80 teachers, 15 scientists and 20 stakeholders. We added recent survey data from speaking with the former participants. Our analysis revealed key findings: (1) the process of a student-driven science investigation engages students in the scientific practices; (2) it is important to bring together scientists, teachers and students, reflecting the importance of multi-dimensional learning; and (3) citizen science was born before the 1990s, when the term came into use. Our findings have implications for awareness of urban environmental issues and the links between the education system and society, young people working together with public and private managers and the science and technology sector instilling ideas on sustainability in the entire society. Full article
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