About this Research Topic
Sexual and reproductive health among adolescents and young adults aged 15-24 years continues to be a major public health challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where child marriage, adolescent childbearing, unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence, HIV transmission and low coverage and uptake of modern contraceptives are common. For the SSA region, there is limited evidence on inequalities in sexual and reproductive health by gender, education, urban-rural residence and household wealth for many critical areas of sexual initiation, fertility, marriage, HIV, condom use and use of contraceptives for family planning. Young women remain disproportionately affected across multiple health outcomes like early sexual debut, first marriage, high rates of gender-based violence and high rates of sexually transmitted infections, resulting in poor sexual health outcomes.
There are many lessons that can be learnt from the HIV response with young people. Despite current efforts, including HIV prevention programs targeted to youth, there is no single biomedical intervention that has resulted in a substantial decline in new HIV infections among adolescents and young adults. Therefore, as with the HIV epidemic, further scientific research incorporating critical and rigorous multi-disciplinary methods is required. Additionally, inclusion of psychosocial priorities of this population in research will help generate replicable and reproducible outcomes. A multi-level understanding that incorporates youth-led approaches may also assist in designing and testing approaches that youth will embrace and find relevant. We propose that an emphasis on psychosocial risks and protective factors will increase understanding of the mechanisms and interventions that are required to address sexual and reproductive health and rights among adolescents and young adults in SSA. Through this call we hope to compile a collection of manuscripts based on the following general guidelines:
Under the Research Topic theme, entitled “The Role of Psychosocial Factors in Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health Among Adolescents and Young Adults in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)”, we are looking for papers that address psychological and social indicators of sexual and reproductive health; and are inclusive of diverse theoretical approaches and multidisciplinary methodologies with the following key questions:
• How do we leverage the role of psychosocial indicators to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescents and young adults?
• What lessons from HIV related research can be applied to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescents and young adults?
How can researchers translate empirical evidence, theoretical frameworks, and scientific methods to engage adolescents and young people by investigating and understanding the role of psychosocial factors?
In particular, we encourage submissions addressing, but not limited to, the following topics:
• Research incorporating psychosocial indicators. Examples of these indicators may include but are not limited to, culture, gender-based violence, mental health, social support, resilience, and self-efficacy.
• Youth-led approaches that incorporate participatory methods for youth engagement in sexual and reproductive health research
• Biomedical research incorporating psychosocial indicators, these may be mental health, social support, stigma
• Community engagement strategies that leverage youth voices and preferences for sexual and reproductive health programming
We welcome contributions that present original empirical work; conceptual or theoretical analyses; meta-analyses; systematic reviews; or unique visions and perspectives. We encourage multidisciplinary scholarly contributions that come from diverse disciplines such as epidemiology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, public health, behavioural medicine, population health. Qualitative research methodologies are highly encouraged.
Initial abstracts should contain approximately 350 words.
Keywords: Sexual and reproductive health, Psychosocial, Youth-led Interventions, Young people, Sub-Saharan Africa
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.