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Adolescents, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2023) – 11 articles

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16 pages, 781 KiB  
Article
Youth’s Social Environments: Associations with Mental Problems and Achievement of Developmental Milestones in Times of Crises
by Leanne A. C. van Est-Bitincka, Hilde D. Schuiringa, Paul T. van der Heijden, Marcel A. G. van Aken and Odilia M. Laceulle
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 366-381; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020025 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1375
Abstract
So far, many studies indicated that youth experience mental problems during crises, such as the COVID-19 crisis, but little attention has been paid to the relation to age-adequate functioning and its association to layered social environments. This study addresses this gap by investigating [...] Read more.
So far, many studies indicated that youth experience mental problems during crises, such as the COVID-19 crisis, but little attention has been paid to the relation to age-adequate functioning and its association to layered social environments. This study addresses this gap by investigating the association between social environments (i.e., household, friends, and neighbourhood) during the COVID-19 crisis with youth’s mental problems and age-adequate functioning. In total, 673 youth (mean age = 19.87, 73.4% girls) were surveyed online during the COVID-19 outbreak. In line with predictions, worse contact with household members was associated with more internalizing symptoms. A lack of privacy was associated with more internalizing and externalizing symptoms and difficulties achieving personal and school and professional milestones. Living with a vulnerable other was associated with more internalizing symptoms and difficulties achieving school and professional milestones. Worse contact with friends was associated with difficulty achieving social milestones. Additionally, neighbourhood risk moderated the association between living with a vulnerable other and school and professional milestones. A lack of privacy stood out as the most important factor associated to youth’s mental problems and achievement of developmental milestones. Future research should indicate to what extent these findings are COVID-19 crisis-specific or can generalize to other crises. Full article
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23 pages, 365 KiB  
Article
The Role of Gender Norms in Shaping Adolescent Girls’ and Young Women’s Experiences of Pregnancy and Abortion in Mozambique
by Sally Griffin, Málica de Melo, Joelma Joaquim Picardo, Grace Sheehy, Emily Madsen, Jorge Matine and Sally Dijkerman
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 343-365; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020024 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2629
Abstract
Adolescents and young women in Mozambique experience high levels of unintended pregnancies, with induced abortion being a common outcome. Stigma and gender norms are likely to negatively impact experiences of pregnancy and abortion, and hamper access to information and services. We assessed knowledge, [...] Read more.
Adolescents and young women in Mozambique experience high levels of unintended pregnancies, with induced abortion being a common outcome. Stigma and gender norms are likely to negatively impact experiences of pregnancy and abortion, and hamper access to information and services. We assessed knowledge, attitudes, practices, and experiences around pregnancy and abortion in six communities in Nampula and Zambézia provinces. We conducted 19 triad interviews with young women and girls, 19 focus group discussions with male and female adult community members, and 15 in-depth interviews with young women with abortion experience. Participants described how gender values, norms, and practices affect girls’ risk of unintended pregnancy and their experiences of pregnancy and abortion. The drivers of adolescent pregnancy included transactional sex and gender-based violence, including early marriage, and gender roles and expectations that lead parents and others to oppose contraception. Stigma around abortion, early or unintended pregnancy, and adolescent sexuality is fueled by gender norms and contributes to girls seeking unsafe abortions. Pregnancy and abortion decision making often involves male partners and family members. In conclusion, gender norms strongly influence the occurrence and outcome of unintended pregnancies and abortion in Mozambique. While abortion legislation was recently liberalized, gender values, norms, and practices inhibit young women’s and girls’ access to services and need to be addressed in policy and programming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Equity and Girls’ Health)
13 pages, 267 KiB  
Article
Money, Economic Abuse, and Food Insecurity: A Qualitative Study among Young Nigerian Women with a History of Intimate Partner Violence
by Elizabeth L. Frost, Olufunmilayo I. Fawole, Omowumi O. Okedare, Mobolaji M. Salawu, Susan M. Kiene, Camarina Augusto and Elizabeth Reed
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 330-342; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020023 - 25 May 2023
Viewed by 1690
Abstract
Intimate partner violence (IPV) occurs in high proportions among young women, with long-lasting adverse health and social outcomes. Recent research findings suggest that experiencing economic vulnerability may influence the ways in which young women experience or are at risk for IPV, including economic [...] Read more.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) occurs in high proportions among young women, with long-lasting adverse health and social outcomes. Recent research findings suggest that experiencing economic vulnerability may influence the ways in which young women experience or are at risk for IPV, including economic abuse. Economic abuse, a form of IPV, involves a partner’s control over money and other economic resources or activities. This study explored economic vulnerability and IPV, including economic abuse, among young Nigerian women reporting a recent history of IPV. In-depth interviews (n = 25) were conducted with women aged 18–30 years who had experienced IPV in the past year. Women were recruited from community and health facilities in low-income neighborhoods of Ibadan, Nigeria. A semi-structured interview guide was used to gather data on women’s economic vulnerability (e.g., food security, living situation, employment/education opportunities, family financial support, economic independence) and experiences of IPV. An analysis was conducted using a thematic analysis approach. The coding scheme was based on interview protocols, adding open codes from emergent themes identified in the interviews. On average, participants were 21 years old, most had children (68%) and reported to be cohabitating with a male partner (56%), and 48% had less than a secondary level of education. Among the emergent themes, women reported economic vulnerability as being financially dependent on a male partner for basic needs. Among this sample, economic vulnerability was exacerbated by limited education, training, and work opportunities, and a disproportionate burden of household labor. Economic vulnerability precipitated all forms of IPV, including economic abuse, as well as sexual and pregnancy coercion. Economic abuse was reported to occur when male partners controlled household finances and denied women adequate allowance to purchase household food, including food for children. Findings from this qualitative study suggest that interventions promoting educational and employment opportunities may be critical to reducing financial reliance on male partners and young women’s vulnerability to economic abuse and other forms of IPV. More research and programmatic work are needed on food deprivation as a form of economic abuse affecting women and their children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Equity and Girls’ Health)
25 pages, 2774 KiB  
Review
Perfectionism in Children and Adolescents with Eating-Related Symptoms: A Systematic Review and a Meta-Analysis of Effect Estimates
by Audrey Livet, Xavier Navarri, Philippe Pétrin Pomerleau, Sébastien Champagne, Fakir Md Yunus, Nicholas Chadi, Gail McVey and Patricia Conrod
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 305-329; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020022 - 25 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2583
Abstract
Background: Over 40 years of research implicates perfectionism in eating disorders in childhood and adolescence. However, the nature of this relationship remains understudied. To address this gap, we performed a systematic review and a meta-analysis to quantify the magnitude of the associations between [...] Read more.
Background: Over 40 years of research implicates perfectionism in eating disorders in childhood and adolescence. However, the nature of this relationship remains understudied. To address this gap, we performed a systematic review and a meta-analysis to quantify the magnitude of the associations between perfectionism (i.e., unidimensional perfectionism, perfectionistic strivings, and perfectionistic concerns) and eating-related symptoms during childhood and adolescence. Methods: The literature search was conducted using five electronic databases in accordance with PRISMA guidelines: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL Complete, APA PsycINFO, and EMB Reviews. A total of 904 studies were identified; a total of 126 were included in the systematic review, and 65 in the meta-analysis (N = 29,268). Sensitivity analyses were also carried out to detect potential differences in age and clinical status. Results: All the associations we investigated were both significant and positive. Small effect sizes were found between eating global scores and unidimensional perfectionism, perfectionistic strivings, and perfectionistic concerns (res = 0.19, res = 0.21, res = 0.12, respectively) and remained significant in each age group in both clinical and community samples. Perfectionistic concerns were moderately associated with all eating measures, especially in community samples and samples with a mean age under 14. Conclusions: Psychological interventions specially designed to target perfectionistic concerns in the early stages of development may help prevent the onset or reduce the intensity of eating-related symptoms during childhood and adolescence. Full article
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15 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
Keeping the Essentials in Place: Lessons Learned from a Qualitative Study of DREAMS in Northern Uganda
by Diane Gardsbane and Paul Bukuluki
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 290-304; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020021 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1799
Abstract
Peer-facilitated curriculum-based programs, including Stepping Stones, have been shown to be effective in preventing HIV and reducing gender-based violence (GBV). We conducted a qualitative study in early 2017 to hear perspectives of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) participating in the USAID-funded Determined, [...] Read more.
Peer-facilitated curriculum-based programs, including Stepping Stones, have been shown to be effective in preventing HIV and reducing gender-based violence (GBV). We conducted a qualitative study in early 2017 to hear perspectives of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) participating in the USAID-funded Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe Women (DREAMS) intervention (administered by the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in northern Uganda that featured 10 peer-facilitated sessions of a Stepping Stones curriculum. The study focused on asking AGYW how the initiative had affected their lives and on identifying lessons learned that could support future initiatives. A total of 56 AGYW were interviewed, including the peer facilitator and 6–7 randomly selected participants of nine DREAMS groups in Northern Uganda. Overwhelmingly, participants indicated that regular HIV testing and knowing their status, knowledge and an increased use of family planning, and knowing how to respond to GBV were among the results of their participation. However, a problematic finding was that peer group discussions relating to reducing GBV included advising AGYW about how to adjust their own behavior in ways that would reduce tension with their male partners, rather than shifting harmful gender norms. This is not consistent with the Stepping Stones program and prompted a retrospective review of factors related to how the program was implemented to better understand this result. Our study points to the important role facilitators play in shifting challenging gender norms, and the importance of fidelity to original program designs, as well as appropriate adaptations for different contexts. Our findings also signal the need for funders to allow sufficient time to pilot and adapt models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Equity and Girls’ Health)
12 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Gender-Based Violence in Girls’ Sports
by Erin Willson and Gretchen Kerr
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 278-289; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020020 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 3294
Abstract
Millions of girls and young women participate in organized sports annually as a vehicle for developing a strong sense of self, social bonds, a positive body image and a sense of agency. Although the benefits of sport engagement are experienced by many girls, [...] Read more.
Millions of girls and young women participate in organized sports annually as a vehicle for developing a strong sense of self, social bonds, a positive body image and a sense of agency. Although the benefits of sport engagement are experienced by many girls, the overwhelming evidence of experiences of gender-based violence in sport cannot be ignored (e.g., USA Gymnastics, Hockey Canada). This paper will address gender-based violence experienced by adolescents in sport with a focus on psychological violence. The literature is replete with evidence that girls experience higher rates of gender-based psychological violence in sport than boys, and as a result, incur developmental costs. Psychological violence is experienced by girls in sport in the form of demeaning comments, body shaming, inequitable media coverage and funding and the ongoing policing of women’s bodies in sport through sexualized sport attire and physiological testing. The causes and effects of psychological violence will be addressed along with recommendations to prevent and address gender-based violence in sport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Equity and Girls’ Health)
19 pages, 643 KiB  
Article
Socio-Cultural Barriers Influencing Unplanned Pregnancy in Mugombwa Refugee Camp, Rwanda: Female Adolescents’ Perspectives
by Autumn Eastman, Oluwatomi Olunuga and Tayechalem Moges
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 259-277; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020019 - 17 Apr 2023
Viewed by 3126
Abstract
Female adolescents experience exacerbated vulnerability to the effects of gender inequities in refugee settings, where there is often a lack of protective societal structures and the politicization of their access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, which result in an increase in [...] Read more.
Female adolescents experience exacerbated vulnerability to the effects of gender inequities in refugee settings, where there is often a lack of protective societal structures and the politicization of their access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, which result in an increase in teenage pregnancy as compared to non-refugee settings. In the Mugombwa refugee camp in Rwanda, there were 47 adolescent childbirths in 2021 alone. This study explores the perspectives of female adolescents on the barriers underpinning adolescent unplanned pregnancy in the Mugombwa refugee camp. Focus group discussions were conducted with 16 adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 19. The findings were analyzed using inductive and deductive thematic analysis. Barriers at the individual, interpersonal, communal, and institutional levels underpin unplanned adolescent pregnancy. Socio-cultural barriers of poverty and transactional sex, poor knowledge of contraceptives, negative peer influence, sexual coercion, poor parent–adolescent communication, negative health worker attitudes, selective SRH community outreach, and the inaccessibility of contraceptives emerged as themes influencing the sexual behavior of adolescents and unplanned pregnancies. The socio-cultural barriers and systemic facilitators of gender inequality associated with being an adolescent female in a refugee camp must be prioritized to alleviate adolescent unplanned pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Equity and Girls’ Health)
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19 pages, 1185 KiB  
Systematic Review
How Can We Address What We Do Not Measure? A Systematic Scoping Review of the Measurement and Operationalization of Social Determinants of Health Research on Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive among Adolescents in the US
by Catherine Poehling, Margaret Mary Downey, Anwei Polly Gwan, Sarah Cannady and Olivia Ismail
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 240-258; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020018 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
Teen pregnancy is often considered an adverse health outcome that accentuates gender inequities, diminishes opportunities, and jeopardizes the safety of adolescent and young adult birthing people. Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) have been hailed as a panacea for teen pregnancy. However, adolescents and emerging [...] Read more.
Teen pregnancy is often considered an adverse health outcome that accentuates gender inequities, diminishes opportunities, and jeopardizes the safety of adolescent and young adult birthing people. Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) have been hailed as a panacea for teen pregnancy. However, adolescents and emerging adults intersect with multiple assaults on their health and well-being due to gender inequity and racism. To establish equitable care, it is imperative to discern all barriers that influence their reproductive autonomy. This study evaluates the measurement, operationalization, and quality of research conducted on adolescents and emerging adults that analyzed the use of LARC within the social determinant of health framework (SDOH) in the US. SDOH were assessed using the Dahlgren and Whitehead model, and reports were analyzed using a modified version of the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Critical Appraisal tools. Nineteen articles were included in this study. Researchers found the insufficient measurement of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender among studies on LARC and SDOH in adolescents and emerging adults. Future studies must measure a full range of identities in data collection to generate knowledge on the impact of SDOH and LARC use among diverse populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Equity and Girls’ Health)
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12 pages, 269 KiB  
Article
Bullying Victimization and Juvenile Delinquency in Ghanaian Schools: The Moderating Effect of Social Support
by Ebenezer Duah
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 228-239; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020017 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Researchers from Western countries and Asia have documented that bullying victimization positively predicts juvenile delinquency. Other researchers have reported that social support considerably reduces adolescent offending. However, little is known about the role of social support in the association between bullying victimization and [...] Read more.
Researchers from Western countries and Asia have documented that bullying victimization positively predicts juvenile delinquency. Other researchers have reported that social support considerably reduces adolescent offending. However, little is known about the role of social support in the association between bullying victimization and teenage delinquency. This study investigated the moderating effect of social support on the relationship between bullying victimization and juvenile delinquency in Ghanaian schools. Data for this research were drawn from the 2012 Global School-Based Student Health Survey. Negative binomial regression was used to analyze the data. The results revealed that bullying victimization significantly predicted adolescent delinquency. In addition, physical bullying significantly increased teenage offending. Moreover, parental and school support meaningfully reduced antisocial behavior. Finally, social support did not moderate the effect of bullying victimization on delinquency. The limitations and policy implications of this study are discussed. Full article
16 pages, 667 KiB  
Article
‘Now, She’s a Child and She Has a Child’—Experiences of Syrian Child Brides in Lebanon after Early Marriage
by Amanda Collier, Emily House, Shaimaa Helal, Saja Michael, Colleen M. Davison and Susan A. Bartels
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 212-227; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020016 - 25 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1868
Abstract
This study examined the lived experiences of Syrian refugee child brides to understand their needs as they navigate new social roles after marriage. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Lebanon using SenseMaker® to collect narratives from married Syrian girls age 13 and [...] Read more.
This study examined the lived experiences of Syrian refugee child brides to understand their needs as they navigate new social roles after marriage. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Lebanon using SenseMaker® to collect narratives from married Syrian girls age 13 and older and from their parents. Thematic analysis using inductive coding was performed. Identified themes were organized according to an adaptation of Bronfenbrenner’s socioecological theory of human development to present experiences across all levels of the girls’ interactions and potential influences. Themes at the microsystem level included overwhelming domestic expectations and worry about their own children in the girls’ roles as young mothers. Experiences of intimate partner violence and family conflict were common. At the exosystem level, participants described safety concerns and financial and legal system challenges. The macrosystem level highlighted social expectations around married girls discontinuing education and around separation or divorce. As efforts continue to prevent child marriage within the Syrian crisis and globally, understanding experiences of already married girls is critical to providing support for mitigating harm to child brides. Programs might consider safety planning, parenting supports, access to skills training and education, peer-to-peer social networking, and engaging husbands or families of child brides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Equity and Girls’ Health)
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13 pages, 1038 KiB  
Article
Lessons Learned from a Mixed-Method Pilot of a Norms-Shifting Social Media Intervention to Reduce Teacher-Perpetrated School-Related Gender-Based Violence in Uganda
by Jasmine Uysal, Pooja Chitle, Marilyn Akinola, Catherine Kennedy, Rogers Tumusiime, Pam McCarthy, Leslie Gautsch and Rebecka Lundgren
Adolescents 2023, 3(2), 199-211; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents3020015 - 23 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1779
Abstract
Background: Violence against children (VAC) is a global epidemic rooted in gender norms. One of the most common forms of VAC is school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV). Research has shown the promise of social media to shift norms underlying abusive behaviors, but, to-date, no [...] Read more.
Background: Violence against children (VAC) is a global epidemic rooted in gender norms. One of the most common forms of VAC is school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV). Research has shown the promise of social media to shift norms underlying abusive behaviors, but, to-date, no studies have reported on social media norms-shifting interventions to prevent SRGBV by teachers. This study describes lessons learned from a pilot social-media intervention to shift social norms among Ugandan teachers to promote gender equity and reduce SRGBV. Methods: We extracted information on group size, posts, engagements, and teachers’ comments from intervention Facebook and WhatsApp social media groups and conducted mixed-methods data analysis. The study and program team met weekly to review findings and adjust the approach. Results: We found many teachers voiced social norms and attitudes upholding SRGBV in online groups, highlighting the need for intervention. Social media groups were largely acceptable to teachers, reached many teachers throughout Uganda, and often promoted active discussion. The program team carefully monitored online engagement, identified needed shifts, and performed mid-course adjustments in response to emerging challenges. Lessons learned included focusing on positive norms instead of harmful norms, engaging peer-influencers to shift norms, and including educational resources to inform behavior change. Conclusions: This study offers learnings on application of social and behavior-change communication and social norms principles to future online violence prevention initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Equity and Girls’ Health)
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