Reproductive health knowledge, substance abuse and risky sexual behaviour amongst street adolescents
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Street adolescents have over the years posed a big challenge to various child actors across the world. The life on the street has made them prone and susceptible to indulging in a risky way of living which includes risky sexual behavior, substance abuse and lack of reproductive health knowledge. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between reproductive health knowledge, substance abuse and risky sexual behavior among street adolescents. This study used a quantitative study design that employed a correlational research design. Standardized tools and a social demographic questionnaire were used to collect data from 180 participants who consented to be a part of this study. Participants were selected using the purposive sampling method. SPSS version 22 was used in data entry and analysis. Results showed that the presence reproductive health knowledge reduces the chances of one engaging in risky sexual behavior (X2 (1, n=180) = 0.425, p< 0.05). A significant association was found between reproductive health knowledge and substance abuse (X2 (1, n=180) = 4.599, p< 0.05) meaning that reproductive health knowledge reduces substance abuse. A significant association was found between risky sexual behavior and substance abuse (X2 (1, n=180) = .796, p< 0.05). Substance abuse was found to be a significant mediator between reproductive health knowledge and risky sexual behavior among the street adolescents with a confidence interval of .0861-.2893. Risky sexual behavior and substance abuse were commonly high among street adolescents that had not been to a school but other factors like peer influence, managing street life and many more were also key determinants that derailed these adolescents into living sexually risky lives while engaging in abuse of various substances. Intervention ought to be put in place to increase awareness of reproductive health knowledge unto this seem to be forgotten mass of adolescents. Community sensitization against victimizing and stigmatizing these young people should also be highly regarded so as to provide a safe environment for the street adolescents to access reproductive health knowledge and services.