Contributing Factors to High-Risk Sexual Behaviors among Iranian Adolescent Girls: A Systematic Review

Document Type: Review article

Authors

1 Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Midwifery and Reproductive Research Center, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Nursing, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background: Adolescence is a period of overwhelming changes and challenges, which expose the adolescents to high-risk behaviors. Risky sexual relationship is one of these behaviors that entails physical risks and psychosocial harms. Various factors have been recognized to shape sexual behaviors in adolescents. This paper is an attempt to investigate the factors contributing to high-risk sexual behaviors in Iranian adolescent girls. Methods: A literature review of the research published by Iranian authors, in Farsi or English language in local and foreign journals, was conducted using PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, Scientific Information Database (SID), IranMedex, IranDoc, and Google Scholar. The search in each database included all the years covered at that time using keywords such as “sexual, adolescents, and Iran”, and continued using other keywords such as “sexual behavior, high-risk behavior, sexual risk and reproductive behavior” individually and in combination Results: Sixteen published articles were identified. Factors contributing to high-risk sexual behaviors in girls can be divided into four general groups including personal, family, peer, school and community. Conclusion: Regarding the identified risk and protective factors, appropriate individual, family and school-based interventions can be designed and implemented to strengthen protective factors. While individual and family factors are considered more in research, factors related to peers, school and community have received less attention. Since social values, beliefs and norms are important factors in formation of sexual behaviors, further research regarding these factors is suggested.

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