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The Impact of Self-esteem on Sexual and Reproductive Behaviour of Indian Rural Female Adolescents
This study aimed to determine self-esteem's (SE) impact on the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of female adolescents aged 14 to 21 years in different schools and Anganwadi centers of Sewapuri block of Varanasi district (U.P). The study followed a long-term pre and post-intervention research design. The research instruments were the Hindi version of the Coopersmith Self-esteem Inventory and a self-prepared regionally sensitive SRH survey. The pre-intervention survey was conducted for 510 participants. The average score on the SE scale and SRH was 54.07 (out of 96) and 79.17 (out of 105), respectively. Regression analysis showed that SE scores significantly predicted the participants' SRH scores. Age showed an inverse relationship with SE and SRH. SE and SRH were higher for unmarried and enrolled participants. A practice-based intervention consisting of 10 self-esteem modules was delivered to 70 female adolescents in phase I. The surveys were taken immediately after the intervention. The SRH score increased significantly, while the increase in the SE score was not significant. Self-esteem as an attitude takes time and specific practices to develop. Academic performance might have also impacted adolescents' self-esteem since the surveys were taken immediately after exams. Therefore, the surveys were conducted again after two months for 36 participants ( ~ 50% of the intervention group). The results showed a significant increase in the SE and SRH scores of the 36 participants. Psychological care and behaviour change communication should be provided through self-esteem-enhancing programs for adolescents to enhance their sexual and reproductive health.
self-esteem (SE), sexual and reproductive health (SRH), female adolescents.
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