Parent-adolescent dynamics in times of HIV/AIDS; Parenting practices, styles and adolescent sexual health communication with peers and Parents in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

Ph.D researcher: Lusajo Joel Kajula

Supervisor: Hein De Vries

Co-researchers: /

Funding:  /

Objective: This study assed the role of communication between parent and adolescent about sexual health, as well as the influence of providing preventive programs targeting adolescents with new knowledge to increase their effectiveness by including parenting strategies. This study was part of the PREPARE HIV prevention study.

Method: Several papers were developed, such as studies assessing the prevalence and nature of parent- adolescent sexual health communication and the parenting styles utilized. Other studies focused on the evaluation of an intervention that was conducted in primary schools which aimed to improve adolescent sexual health.

Results: From the studies several conclusions on parenting practices, styles and sexual health communication with parents and peers can be reached. First, parents may benefit by improving their parenting practices and styles and utilizing more positive techniques that increase connectedness and enhance sexual health disclosure with their adolescent children. Adolescents may be more willing to engage in sexual health dialogue with their parents if fear of ridicule and punishment from parents is reduced. Second, while it is agreed that adolescents are susceptible to peer influence, improving parent-adolescent connectedness and adolescent disclosure would enable parents to guide their adolescent children to peers with more healthy sexual behaviours. Third, intervention programs that aim to improve adolescent sexual health should encourage parents to challenge the culture of silence regarding sexual health and adopt health enhancing contexts in their homes through parent-adolescent sexual health communication. Finally, the Tanzanian government would greatly improve the health of its adolescent population by enforcing policy changes that discourage parental use of harsh practices especially the use of corporal punishment.

Publications:

Bastien, S., Kajula, L. J., & Muhwezi, W. W. (2011). A review of studies of parent-child communication about sexuality and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Reproductive health8(1): 25.

 Kajula, L. J., Sheon, N., De Vries, H., Kaaya, S. F., & Aarø, L. E. (2014). Dynamics of parent–adolescent communication on sexual health and HIV/AIDS in Tanzania. AIDS and Behavior18(1): 69-74.

 Kajula, L. J., Darling, N., Kaaya, S. F., & De Vries, H. (2016). Parenting practices and styles associated with adolescent sexual health in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. AIDS care28(11): 1467-1472.

Mmbaga, E. J., Kajula, L., Aarø, L. E., Kilonzo, M., Wubs, A. G., Eggers, S. M., De Vries, H., & Kaaya, S. (2017). "Effect of the PREPARE intervention on sexual initiation and condom use among adolescents aged 12–14: a cluster randomised controlled trial in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. BMC Public Health 17(1): 322.