Predictors of Premarital Sexual Initiation among Adolescents in Nigeria

Blessing Mberu, Brown University

Using data from the 2003 nationally representative Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, and employing multivariate logistic regression, this study examines the multi-factor predictors of premarital sexual initiation among 2497 male and female adolescents aged 15-24 and how this relates to other health-related risky behaviors in Nigeria. Net the effects of other variables, the study identified significant association between premarital sexual initiation and gender, religion, ethnic origin, level of education, nature of employment, place of childhood residence, and adolescent transition to independent living. With continuous decline in the age of premarital sexual initiation is low levels of reproductive knowledge and high levels of risky reproductive attitudes and behaviors. The outcome identifies the multiple factors likely to influence adolescent male and female reproductive behavior in Nigeria and provides an evidence base for a multi-pronged approach to programs that address adolescent reproductive health in different cultural areas of the country.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Children and Youth, Adolescence, Parenting, Transition to Adulthood, Life Course