Communicating with Siblings about Sexual and Reproductive Health: Likelihood, Gendered Patterns and Learning Mechanisms among Adolescents

Dela Kusi-Appouh, Population Council

Siblings can play a significant role in shaping adolescents' attitudes and behaviors. Existing studies have mainly used European and European-American samples, neglecting sibling relationships and communication in non-Western contexts. This study fills research gaps by focusing on adolescents in Ghana (mean of 3.3 siblings) and demonstrates that adolescents generally receive similar health information from their siblings as they do from parents, school, friends, and the media. The study finds that: (1) older siblings advocate for sexual abstinence and early pregnancy prevention; (2) 15-19 year old adolescents are more likely to communicate with older siblings, while out-of-school males and rural females are less likely to do so; (3) communication is more likely to occur in same-gender dyads;(4) siblings’ personal experiences can offer adolescents unique perspectives and learning opportunities that can impact their transition to adulthood. This study's findings call for considering siblings as an important target group in adolescent-related interventions.

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Presented in Poster Session 4