Community structure and timing of sexual activity among adolescent girls in Nigeria
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Studies have linked the timing of sexual debut to unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmissible infections, including HIV. Current understandings of sexual debut among Nigerian adolescents focused on the roles of individual and familial characteristics. We leveraged the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey data to examine how community features like affluence, ethnic diversity, and women empowerment may be associated with the timing of sexual debut among adolescent girls. The sample comprised 7449 adolescent girls who were usual residents in 6,505 households and 1,352 clusters or communities. Statistical associations between community characteristics and the onset of sexual debut were assessed using a two-level mixed-effects parametric survival model with Weibull distribution. We found that community affluence [aHR:0.43, 95%CI: 0.30–0.62] and community ethnic diversity [aHR: 0.63, 95%CI: 0.42–0.94] are associated with a lower hazard of sexual debut among adolescent girls. We also observed that women that married within the observation period had an earlier sexual initiation than those who were unmarried. The results disaggregated by marital status further shows that higher community level of women’s employment [aHR: 2.45, 95%CI: 1.38–4.38] and women’s education [aHR:1.85, 95%CI: 1.03–3.33] were associated with a higher hazard of sexual debut among unmarried adolescent girls but not married adolescent girls. Higher community affluence [aHR:0.40, 95%CI: 0.27–0.60] was also associated with a lower hazard of sexual debut among unmarried adolescent girls but not married adolescent girls. Our results illuminate the associated factors of the timing of sexual debut among adolescent girls that moves beyond individual characteristics to community characteristics.
Somefun , O D & Olamijuwon , E 2022 , ' Community structure and timing of sexual activity among adolescent girls in Nigeria ' , PLoS ONE , vol. 17 , no. 7 , e0269168 . https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0269168
Copyright © 2022 Somefun, Olamijuwon. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DescriptionFunding: This research was supported by funding from the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), awarded to OS. CARTA is jointly led by the African Population and Health Research Center and the University of the Witwatersrand and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York (Grant No. G-19-57145), Sida (Grant No:54100113), Uppsala Monitoring Center, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), and by the Wellcome Trust [reference no. 107768/Z/15/Z] and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, with support from the Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science in Africa (DELTAS Africa) programme. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
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