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dc.rights.licenseAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
dc.contributor.authorJames, Peter Bai
dc.contributor.authorOsborne, Augustus
dc.contributor.authorBah, Abdulai Jawo
dc.contributor.authorMargao, Emmanuel Kamanda
dc.contributor.authorConteh-Barrat, Mohamed
dc.identifierpublisher-id: s40834-022-00193-w
dc.identifiermanuscript: 193
dc.identifierdoi: 10.1186/s40834-022-00193-w
dc.identifier.citationJames, P.B., Osborne, A., Bah, A.J., Margao, E.K. and Conteh-Barrat, M. (2022) ‘Sexual risk behaviour among school-going adolescents in Sierra Leone and Liberia: a secondary analysis of the 2017 Global school-based student health surveys’, Contraception and Reproductive Medicine, 7(1), p. 27. Available at:
dc.descriptionFrom Springer Nature via Jisc Publications Router
dc.descriptionHistory: received 2022-08-08, accepted 2022-10-18, registration 2022-10-19, collection 2022-12, pub-electronic 2022-12-24, online 2022-12-24
dc.descriptionAcknowledgements: Acknowledgements: We want to thank the high school students who participated in the 2017 Sierra Leone and Liberian GSHS. This paper uses data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey. GSHS is supported by the World Health Organization and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
dc.descriptionPublication status: Published
dc.descriptionAbdulai Jawo Bah - ORCID: 0000-0002-3334-7882
dc.description.abstractBackground: Sierra Leone and Liberia have experienced civil wars and, recently, Ebola outbreaks that led to profound economic hardship, psychopathologies and family disruptions. These factors are associated with sexual risk behaviours among youths. However, there is very little information on sexual risk behaviour among Sierra Leonean and Liberian school-going adolescents. The present study assessed the prevalence and determinants of sexual risk behaviours among school-going adolescents (10–19 years) in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Method: We used publicly available nationally representative cross-sectional datasets of the 2017 Sierra Leone and Liberia Global school health survey. The sample consisted of 2798 and 2744 school-going adolescents from Sierra Leone and Liberia, respectively. Complex sample descriptive and regression analysis was used to analyse our data. Results: The majority of adolescents in the two countries were involved in multiple sexual risk behaviour (80.2%), with a higher prevalence observed in Sierra Leone (85.2%) than in Liberia (75.3%). Liberian adolescents showed lesser odds of indulging in multiple sexual risk behaviours than their Sierra Leonean counterparts (AOR = 0.572; 95%CI: 0.345–0.946). Male, compared to females, were more likely to engage in multiple sexual risk behaviour (AOR = 2.310;95%CI:1.543–3.458), with a similar pattern observed in both countries. Alcohol use was associated with multiple sexual risk behaviour (AOR = 3.064; 95%CI: 2.137–4.392). Also, in Sierra Leone and Liberia, adolescents with one and two or more forms of psychological distress were more likely to have ever had sex than those who did not show any form of psychological distress. Missing class/school was associated with multiple sexual risk behaviour (AOR = 1.655; 95%CI:1.133–2.418). Peer support was only found to be a protective factor against no condom use among Liberian adolescents (AOR = 0.608; 95%CI: 0.435–0.850). Less parental support was only associated with ever had sex among adolescents in Sierra Leone (AOR = 2.027; 95%CI: 1.322–3.107) but not in Liberia (AOR = 1.034; 95%CI: 0.650–1.644). Conclusion: Our study found a high sexual risk behaviour among school-going adolescents in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Our finding highlights the need to strengthen sexual and reproductive health education in schools and communities that incorporate mental health promotion activities tailored to this group.en
dc.publisherBioMed Central
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dc.rightsOpen Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
dc.sourceeissn: 2055-7426
dc.subjectSexual risk behaviour
dc.subjectSierra Leone
dc.titleSexual risk behaviour among school-going adolescents in Sierra Leone and Liberia: a secondary analysis of the 2017 Global school-based student health surveys
qmu.authorBah, Abdulai Jawo
qmu.centreInstitute for Global Health and Development

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