Examining sexual risk behavior among adolescents in Ghana : applying the theory of planned behavior /

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Campbell, Kari
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Middle Tennessee State University
Sixty-three percent (63%) of youth who have HIV/AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. There is a lack of published data on sexual behaviors among sub-Saharan African youth. This study targets a segment of the Ghanaian population that has not been addressed prior to this research study. The purpose of this study is to examine sexual behaviors among 3rd year senior secondary school students in the Greater Accra and Volta regions of Ghana, West Africa using the Theory of Planned Behavior. Data were collected from 11 Senior Secondary Schools in Ghana. Sixty-three percent (63%) of the sample was from the Greater Accra region, while 37% was from the Volta region (N = 902). The data were weighted based on region and gender so that the resulting sample may represent the estimated population of students in the schools. The sample consisted of 510 boys (56.6%) and 391 girls (43.4%). Age ranged from 16 to 19 years, with 33.2% being 17 years old.
Girls were less likely to intend to use condoms than boys (X 2 = 18.3, df = 2, p less than .001). In the logistic regression analysis, the model was able to explain 45.9% of the variation in intention to use condoms (R 2 = 0.459). Participants with positive attitudes toward condom use were more likely to intend to use condoms in the next three months compared to participants with negative or neutral attitudes toward condom use. Participants who thought important people closest to them would approve of their condom use were more likely to intend to use condoms in the next three months than participants who thought most people important to them were neutral toward their condom use. Perceived behavioral control provided inconclusive results as a predictor of participants' intention to use condoms.
Overall, this model is an effective model for explaining intention to use condoms among Ghanaian adolescent boys and girls. Future recommendations include designing and implementing sexual risk behavior interventions in Ghana utilizing the Theory of Planned Behavior and conducting similar research in the remaining eight geographical regions of Ghana.
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