Identfying Adolescents' Perceptions of the Facilitators and Barriers to the Promotion of Healthy Sexuality of Adolescents of Prince Edward Island
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According to several studies, there have been improvements in adolescent sexual behaviour; declining adolescent pregnancies, fewer adolescents having more than one sexual partner, and an increasing numbers of adolescents using contraceptives. Notwithstanding these improvements, there are concerns regarding adolescents’ sexual health including adolescents’ limited knowledge of sexual health issues, high rates of sexually transmitted infections and the need to eliminate barriers to adolescent sexual health services. The purpose of this study was to explore adolescents’ perceptions of the facilitators and barriers to the promotion of healthy sexuality of adolescents living in PEI. A qualitative descriptive design guided by CST and a socio-ecological framework was used to explore participants’ perceptions. Six female high school students, 16-18 years of age, participated in a face-to-face semi-structured interview followed by a second face-to-face follow up interview. Seven themes emerged from the data that was analyzed through thematic analysis: The Illusion of Accessible Resources; Risky Behaviours; Peer Pressure Alive and Well in High School; Cyberbullying; Parental Influence on Adolescent Decision Making; Inefficient and Underutilized School Health Resources; and Inefficient and Underutilized Community Health Resources. While it is evident that some promotion of healthy sexuality of adolescents is occurring in PEI, more investigation and development is needed to better support adolescents with comprehensive school services including guidance and education. The results of this study can be used to guide this future development.