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Attitudes towards contraceptive use among schooling adolescents in Malawi

Abstract

Esnath Kapito, Abigail Kazembe, Alfred Maluwa, Address Malata, Jon Oyvind Odland

A study was conducted to explore attitudes towards contraceptive use among sexually active tertiary schooling adolescents in Blantyre District of the Southern Region of Malawi. The study design was exploratory and employed qualitative data collection and analysis method. A purposive sample size of 23 (13 female and 10 male) sexually active adolescents was used in the study. Data was collected through in-depth interviews that were conducted using an open ended interview guide. Qualitative data was manually analysed using content analysis. Two themes that emerged from the adolescents’ narrations were positive and negative attitudes towards contraceptive use. Positive attitudes were developed from acknowledging benefits of contraceptives; and having beliefs and values that recognised responsibility; readiness; and motivation for contraceptive. The motivation factors included the desire for good life, health, stable future family, higher education and independence. Negative attitudes on the other hand arose from challenges, disadvantages, misconceptions as well as beliefs and values that disapprove the use of contraceptives among adolescents. To increase contraceptive use among sexually active adolescents, there is a need for adequate information about contraceptives in terms of advantages, disadvantages and side effects. This would help mitigate negative attitudes on contraceptives from misinformation and misconceptions.

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