Original Research

Changing youth behaviour in South Africa

Nelisiwe Khuzwayo, Myra Taylor, Catherine Connolly
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 25 | a1031 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v25i0.1031 | © 2020 Nelisiwe Khuzwayo, Myra Taylor, Catherine Connolly | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 December 2017 | Published: 29 January 2020

About the author(s)

Nelisiwe Khuzwayo, Discipline of Rural Health, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Myra Taylor, Discipline of Rural Health, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Catherine Connolly, Discipline of Rural Health, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Youth behaviour in South Africa continues to be a public health concern. Primary prevention interventions remain a pre-requisite for promotion of improved social and health outcomes.

Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the impact of a behavioural youth risk reduction intervention among grade 10 learners.

Setting: The Study was conducted in KwaZulu-Natal high schools, at UMgungundlovu District Municipality.

Methods: We conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial at 16 KwaZulu-Natal high schools where learners completed a self- administered questionnaire assessing youth risk behaviours. Schools were divided into two arms, intervention and a control arms.

Results: The intervention reduced learners’ reports of carrying of a weapon to school in the past 30 days, but did not significantly reduce other assessed risk behaviours. Although the intervention appeared more likely to reduce learners’ risk behaviours when compared to the control group, such as carrying weapons, risky sexual behaviour and alcohol and drug abuse.

Conclusion: This study was unable to show statistical significance for these outcomes.


Keywords

carried weapons; sexual behaviours; alcohol abuse; students; youth behaviour

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