Parental Factors and Sexual Risk-Taking among Young People in Côte d'Ivoire

Stella Babalola, B. Oleko Tambashe, Claudia Vondrasek


Côte d'Ivoire is the country worst affected by the HIV epidemic in West Africa, and young people in this country are a particularly vulnerable group. This study examined the relation between parental factors and sexual risk-taking among young people using logistic regression and survival analysis methods. Three parental factors (living in the same household as the father during childhood, perceived parental disapproval of early and premarital pregnancy, and parent-child communication about sexual abstinence) were positively associated with primary sexual abstinence (defined as yet to experience sexual debut), secondary sexual abstinence (defined as sexual abstinence subsequent to sexual debut) and reduced number of sex partners. The findings suggest that parental monitoring and control are important predictors of youth sexual behaviours and underscore the need to target parents and guardians in efforts to promote responsible sexual behaviours among adolescents. It is important to promote parent-child communication about sexual issues and empower parents and guardians to communicate effectively with their children and wards about sexual issues. (Afr J Reprod Health 2005; 9[1]: 49-65)


Keywords: Parent, attitude, communication, sex, behaviours, Cote d'Ivoire  

Full Text:



Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). CIA - The World Factbook - Côte d'Ivoire.

UNAIDS. The Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic - 2002. /contents.html

UNAIDS/UNICEF/WHO. Young people and HIV/AIDS 2002. /youngpeoplehivaids-en-pdf.pdf

Institut National de la Statistique/Macro Inc (INS/Macro). Enquête Démographique et de Santé en Côte d'Ivoire (EDSCI-II), 1998-1999. Calverton: Macro Inc., 2001.

Zanou B, Nyankawindemera A, Toto JP and Kosonou K. Enquête de surveillance de comportements relatifs aux MST/SIDA en Côte d'Ivoire (BSS 1998). Rapport d'analyse des données de l'enquête auprès des jeunes. Abidjan: ENSEA, 1999.

Yelibi S, Valenti P, Volpe C, Caprara A, Dedy S and Tape G. Socio-cultural aspects of AIDS in an urban peripheral area of Abidjan. AIDS Care 1993; 5: 187-197.

White R, Cleland J and Caraël M. Links between premarital sexual behaviour and extramarital intercourse: a multi-site analysis.

AIDS 2000; 14: 2323-2331.

Harris JR. The Nurture Assumption: Why Children turn out the way they do. New York: Free Press, 1998.

Scarr S. Developmental theories for the 1990's: development and individual difference. Child Dev 1992; 63: 1-19.

Scarr S. Biological and cultural diversity: the legacy of Darwin for development. Child Dev 1993; 64: 1333-1353.

Lewis M. Altering Fate: Why the Past does not Predict the Future. New York: Guilford Press, 1997.

Brown BB. Lamborn, SL, Mounts NS and Steinberg L. Parenting practices and peer group affiliation in adolescence. Child Dev 1993; 64: 467-482.

Romer D, Black M, Ricardo I, Feigelman S, Kalijee L, Galbraith J, et al. Social influences on the sexual of youth at risk for HIV exposure. Am J Public Health 1994; 84: 977-985.

Nada Raja S and Stanton W. Perceived attachment to parents and peers and psychological wellbeing in adolescence. J Youth Adolesc 1992; 21: 471-485.

Patterson GR, Reid JB and Dishion TJ. A Social Learning Approach: Volume 4. Anti-Social Boys. Eugene, OR: Castalia, 1992.

Pryor J and Woodward L. Families and parenting. In: Silva PA and Stanton WR (Eds.). From Child to Adult: The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study Auckland. New Zealand: Oxford University Press; 1996, p. 247-258.

Bohman M. Predisposition to criminality: Swedish adoption studies in retrospect. In: Bock GR and Goode JA (Eds.). Genetics of Criminal and Antisocial Behaviour. Chichester: John Wiley, 1996, p. 99-114.

Kochanska G. Multiple pathways to conscience for children with different temperaments. Dev Psychol 1997; 33: 228-240.

Wright DW, Peterson LR and Barnes HL. The relation of parental employment and contextual variables with sexual permissiveness and gender role attitudes of rural early adolescents. J Early Adolesc 1990; 10: 382-398.


  • There are currently no refbacks.