Connectedness as Predictor of Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes for Youth


In this article, connectedness, or bonding, meaning an emotional attachment to family, peers, school, community, and culture were explored. How it can positively encourage adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) is also discussed. Connectedness is also a key element in positive youth development programs (PYD). The eight connectedness sub-constructs analyzed were: family connectedness, parent–adolescent general communication, parent–adolescent sexuality communication, parental monitoring, peer connectedness, partner connectedness, school connectedness, and community connectedness. Through research, it was shown that there was a protective association with family connectedness, both types of parental connectedness, parental monitoring, partner connectedness, as well as school connectedness.

  •  “The emotional attachment and commitment a child makes to social relationships in the family, peer group, school, community, or culture. They also recognized that the quality of a child’s bonds to family and other domains is an essential element of positive development into a healthy adult.” (Markham et al., 2009, S24)
  •  “All six [connectedness] demonstrated evidence for delaying sexual initiation (ever had sex) or for protecting against early sexual debut . Four sub-constructs were also protective for sexually experienced youth either reducing the frequency of sex  (family connectedness  and school connectedness) or increasing condom and contraceptive use  (parental monitoring and partner connectedness).” (p. Markham et al., 2009, S35)

Citation: Markham, C.M., Lormand, D., Gloppen, K.M., Perskin, M.F., Flores, B., Low, B., House, L.D. (2009). Connectedness as a Predictor of Sexual and Reproductive Health for Youth. Journal of Adolescent Health. Vol. 46. p. S23-S41

Link to article.

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