Involvement of Mothers in Adolescent Sexuality Education in Makurdi Metropolis, Benue State, Nigeria
Introduction: Adolescents are vulnerable to many sexual and reproductive health challenges. Sexuality education at home has been identified as a primary source of reliable sexuality education for adolescents. This study was aimed at assessing the prevalence of and factors associated with mothers-adolescent sexuality communication in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.
Method: The study was a community based cross-sectional study design conducted among randomly selected 377 consenting mothers of adolescents in Makurdi, Nigeria. Data collection was done using structured, interviewer administered questionnaires and analysis was done using SPSS version 23. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with motheradolescent communication in sexuality.
Results: Majority of the respondents, 256 (94.4%) believed sex education is important and 354 (93.9%) support its introduction into the school curriculum. 324 (85.9%) had sexuality education with their adolescents. Most of the mother-adolescent discussions were initiated by the mothers (75.9%), 6.4% were by the child and 3.7% by the fathers and mostly on discussions were on abstinence (76.6%). Factors associated with more likelihood of having mother-adolescent communication in sexuality were older age, 5.5 (2.46-12.24) and educational status, 3.1 (1.51-6.61) while polygamous family setting, 0.18 (0.05-0.43) and lack of previous discussion in sexuality with their own mothers, 0.3 (0.13-0.51) were less likely to communicate with their adolescents on sexuality.
Discussion: A relatively high proportion of the respondents had good perception and have had communicated with their adolescents on sexual and reproductive health issues, which may be attributable to high educational attainment of our respondents.
Conclusion: Majority of the mothers communicate with their adolescent children on sexuality related issues. Most of the discussions were on abstinence. Factors associated with communication with adolescent children were age of respondents, educational attainment, family type and whether the respondents had sexuality education with their own parents were less likely to do so. The knowledge and skills of parents should be built up to improve the contents of mother-adolescent discussion on sexuality.