Adolescence is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood characterized by significant physical, cognitive, social and emotional changes. Because of the rapid cognitive, physical and emotional developments that takes place before adequate information, skills and experience of life is achieved, adolescence is a time when several health problems emerge unless managed properly(1,2).
Globally, a significant number of adolescents and youth aged 10 to 24 years die each year due to lack of information about available health services and avoidable sexual and reproductive health (SRH) negative consequences. Each year around the globe sixteen million late adolescent girls give birth, in which 95 percent of them occur in developing countries(3). Unplanned birth for unmarried adolescent women results in dropout of school, rejection from family and community. Besides, adolescents present with a highest incidence rate for sexually transmitted infections (4). The main cause for the above situation is the gap in promoting the SRH agenda and adolescent health is usually ignored area in health priority (5).
Parent-adolescent communication on SRH issues with adolescents is vital in reducing risky sexual behaviors and negative its consequences (6). It is fundamental process through which parents transmit sexual values, information, beliefs, and expectations to their children with the purpose of influencing sexual behaviours, attitudes and decision-making of their children and becomes effective when parents are openly discussed, skilled, and comfortable in their discussion of sex related topics (7). Parents are the primary source of information concerning sexuality and adolescents prefer to receive sexual information from their parents (8).
Studies revealed that adolescents in Ethiopia have very low health-seeking behavior mainly to their SRH matters and even the current reproductive health services are not adolescent-centered(9,10). Even though the Ethiopian government has identified the reproductive health of adolescents as one of the priority areas in the national reproductive health strategy, it is not yet put in practice(11). Furthermore, the government of Ethiopia has set objectives with strategies that encourage parents’ participation, but little is known about the parental engagement (12). In general, to decrease adolescent’s morbidity and mortality, parent-adolescent communication about SRH issues were crucial and can greatly reduce adolescent’s sexual risk.
Parent-adolescent communication on SRH issues in Ethiopia is believed to be socially disgraceful (13) and most youth-friendly services and health care providers in Ethiopia are not well prepared in addressing adolescents' SRH desires. As a result, most of the adolescent communication attempts regarding sexual matters is generally misguided by their peer group of the same sex and many teenagers do not have access to reliable information regarding their SRH needs (9,14). Hence, the participation of community members, families, and other stakeholders is important to improve the health status of the adolescents. As adolescents are cornerstone for future economic development, policy and strategy that support adolescent should be develop to reduce the risk of adolescent health problem.
The factors associated with the communication are parental education, adolescent’s age and living arrangements, type of parents, and parents’ sexual and reproductive health knowledge and attitude (13,15,16).
In Ethiopia limited study was conducted on parents-adolescents communication on sexual and reproductive health and to our knowledge, there is no established evidence regarding the prevalence and associated factors of parent adolescent communication on SRH in Agaro town, Oromia region Ethiopia. Hence, this study was aimed at assessing the prevalence and associated factors of parent adolescent communication on SRH among secondary and preparatory school students for risk minimization and better health. This study will help to provide information regarding the prevalence of parent adolescent communication on SRH and its determinants to suggest possible ways of improving the challenges in family communication. Moreover, this study will attempt to generate evidence based information for concerned government bodies and policy makers to consider the situation and to design an appropriate intervention strategy.