Parental control and monitoring of young people's sexual behaviour in rural North-Western Tanzania: Implications for sexual and reproductive health interventions

Wamoyi, Joyce; Fenwick, Angela; Urassa, Mark; Zaba, Basia; Stones, William
January 2011
BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p106
Academic Journal
Background: Parenting through control and monitoring has been found to have an effect on young people's sexual behaviour. There is a dearth of literature from sub-Saharan Africa on this subject. This paper examines parental control and monitoring and the implications of this on young people's sexual decision making in a rural setting in North-Western Tanzania. Methods: This study employed an ethnographic research design. Data collection involved 17 focus group discussions and 46 in-depth interviews conducted with young people aged 14-24 years and parents/carers of young people within this age-group. Thematic analysis was conducted with the aid of NVIVO 7 software. Results: Parents were motivated to control and monitor their children's behaviour for reasons such as social respectability and protecting them from undesirable sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. Parental control and monitoring varied by family structure, gender, schooling status, a young person's contribution to the economic running of the family and previous experience of a SRH outcome such as unplanned pregnancy. Children from single parent families reported that they received less control compared to those from both parent families. While a father's presence in the family seemed important in controlling the activities of young people, a mother's did not have a similar effect. Girls especially those still schooling received more supervision compared to boys. Young women who had already had unplanned pregnancy were not supervised as closely as those who hadn't. Parents employed various techniques to control and monitor their children's sexual activities. Conclusions: Despite parents making efforts to control and monitor their young people's sexual behaviour, they are faced with several challenges (e.g. little time spent with their children) which make it difficult for them to effectively monitor them. There is a need for interventions such as parenting skills building that might enable parents to improve their relationships with children. This would equip parents with the appropriate skills for positive guidance and monitoring of their children and avoid inappropriate parenting behaviour. As much as parents focus their attention on their school going daughters, there is a need to also remember the out-of-school young people as they are also vulnerable to adverse SRH outcomes.


Related Articles

  • Barriers to Sexual Health Services for Young People in Nepal. Regmi, Pramod R.; van Teijlingen, Edwin; Simkhada, Padam; Acharya, Dev Raj // Journal of Health, Population & Nutrition;Dec2010, Vol. 28 Issue 6, p619 

    Although sexual and reproductive health education and services are provided to young people, current rates of HIV infection and pregnancy are increasing in Nepal, indicating that young people do not always use sexual health services. Health facilities have apparently failed to provide young...

  • Profile of young people's advice clinic in reproductive health, 1988-93. Williams, E.C.; Kirkman, R.J.E.; Elstein, M. // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);9/24/94, Vol. 309 Issue 6957, p786 

    Focuses on the Woodhouse Park Clinic on providing weekly advice sessions to young people on reproductive health in the year 1988-1993 in the Great Britain. Background and setting of the clinic; Facilities in the clinic; Details on the management in the place; Difficulty encountered in...

  • STAVOVI I PONAÅ ANJE STUDENATA U VEZI SA REPRODUKTIVNIM ZDRAVLJEM. RADOVANOVIĆ, Snežana; KOCIĆ, Sanja; ŠORAK, Marija; MILIĆ, Časlav // Medicinski Pregled / Medical Review;2010, Vol. 63 Issue 11/12, p859 

    No abstract available.

  • New sexual health guidance.  // Paediatric Nursing;Sep2004, Vol. 16 Issue 7, p4 

    Reports that new guidance on providing advice on contraception, sexual and reproductive health and treatments to young people has been issued by the English Department of Health in September 2004. Highlights of the guidance; Implications for children's right to privacy.

  • Promoting Sexual Responsibility Among Young People in Zimbabwe. Young Mi Kim // International Family Planning Perspectives;Mar2001, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p11 

    Explores the advocacy on sexual responsibility among young individuals in Zimbabwe. Employment of logistic regression analysis; Use of multimedia approach in promoting sexual responsibility; Issues on reproductive health and safe sex.

  • Effects of a Televised Two-City Safer Sex Mass Media Campaign Targeting High-Sensation-Seeking and Impulsive-Decision-Making Young Adults. Zimmerman, Rick S.; Palmgreen, Philip M.; Noar, Seth M.; Lustria, Mia Liza A.; Hung-Yi Hu; Horosewski, Mary Lee // Health Education & Behavior;Oct2007, Vol. 34 Issue 5, p810 

    This study evaluates the ability of a safer sex televised public service announcement (PSA) campaign to increase safer sexual behavior among at-risk young adults. Independent, monthly random samples of 100 individuals were surveyed in each city for 21 months as part of an interrupted-time-series...

  • Sexual health among young adults in Finland: Assessing risk and protective behaviour through a general health survey. Nikula, Minna; Koponen, Päivikki; Haavio-Mannila, Elina; Hemminki, Elina // Scandinavian Journal of Public Health;May2007, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p298 

    Objective: To describe the extent of sexual risk and protective behaviours and reproductive health outcomes comparing men and women of 18-29 and assess the demographic correlates of these indicators within genders. Design: A module of questions on sexual behaviour and reproductive health...

  • The Psychosocial Context of Young Adult Sexual Behavior in Nicaragua: Looking Through the Gender Lens. Rani, Manju; Figueroa, Maria Elena; Ainsle, Robert // International Family Planning Perspectives;Dec2003, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p174 

    CONTEXT: Understanding the nature and magnitude of gender differences in sexual norms among young adults in Nicaragua, and how these differences affect sexual behavior, is important for the design of reproductive health programs. METHODS: A representative cross-sectional survey was conducted in...

  • The Experience of Sexual Coercion Among Young People in Kenya. Erulkar, Annabel S. // International Family Planning Perspectives;Dec2004, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p182 

    CONTEXT: Studies of sexual behavior among young people in the developing world have generally neglected the circumstances in which sex takes place, most often assuming that when young people have sex, it is wanted and consensual. The few published studies on non consensual sex have often used...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics