Sibling Influence on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Ghana and Uganda

Dela Kusi-Appouh, Cornell University

This paper examines the extent to which adolescents in Ghana and Uganda are influenced by verbal and observational interactions with their older siblings. It also examines how such interactions help shape adolescents' sexual & reproductive health cognitions above and beyond what they learn from their parents and friends. Sibling characteristics, interaction, and influence are analyzed within five domains: (1) delaying sexual activity; (2) delaying early childbearing; (3) using contraception; (4) preventing HIV/AIDS; and (5) maintaining monogamous relationships. Preliminary qualitative analyses (using ATLAS.ti) reveal sibling interaction and influence with regard to HIV/AIDS and pregnancy prevention; pressure to engage in or abstain from sex; and knowledge about puberty, sexual & reproductive health. Data are from 138 in-depth interviews with 12-19 year olds, conducted by the Guttmacher Institute as part of their 2004 "Protect the Next Generation" study.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 6