Ghanaian Teenagers’ Relationships with Parents and Other Adults: Reliability, Validity, and Associations with Sexual Behavior of Four New Scales

Jeffrey Bingenheimer, George Washington University
Clement Ahiadeke, University of Ghana
Elizabeth Asante, University of Ghana

Little research has been done on the social contexts of adolescent sexual behaviors in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of a longitudinal cohort study of N=1275 teenage girls and boys in two Ghanaian towns, we developed a 26 item interviewer-administered questionnaire module intended to assess four dimensions of youth-adult relationships: conflict, support, monitoring, and financial support. Confirmatory factor and traditional psychometric analyses showed the four scales to be reliable. Known-groups comparisons provided evidence of their validity. All four scales had strong bivariate associations with self-reported sexual behavior (odds ratios = 1.66, 0.74, 0.47, and 0.60 for conflict, support, monitoring, and financial support). In a multivariate model, the effects of conflict and monitoring on self-reported sex remained large and statistically significant (adjusted odds ratios = 1.49 and 0.64). The instrument is practical for use in sub-Saharan African settings and produces measures that are reliable, valid, and predictive of sexual behavior in youth.

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Presented in Poster Session 5