Theoretical fundamentals of adolescents’ reproductive health behaviours

Theoretical fundamentals of adolescents’ reproductive health


R.S. Tabak

Ankara University, Faculty of Health Education, Ankara,


Many educational interventions have been carried out to furnish

adolescents with correct reproductive health behaviours related to genital

hygiene, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, gender relations, sexual

initiations, safer sex practices and so on. Majority of them were focused on

psychomotor aspects of behaviours. In other words, only mechanical ‘action’

phase of reproductive health behaviours has been the main interest of educators.

As a process, behaviour development or modification has its own dynamics that

affect the quality and the quantity of behaviours. These dynamics are explained

in theoretical fundamentals of health behaviours that should be taken into

account in developing and implementing sexual health education programs for

young people.

The main purposes of this study were: (a) to define the specific

dynamics and stages in modification of reproductive health behaviours among

adolescents, and (b) to develop implications for interventional reproductive

health education programs for adolescents. The method of this study is the

comprehensive review of the research literature on the theories and models of

health behaviour modification among adolescents.

According to results,

theoretical behaviour change features such as intention, self-efficacy and

self-responsibility are commonly defined as basic predictors and dynamics of

reproductive health behaviours among adolescents. Cognitive consistency is also

emphasised as an underlying process for behaviour adoption.

In conclusion, the

findings of this study lend support for the design and implementation of

theory-based educational interventions to promoting healthy adolescent sexual


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