n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Adolescent girls' health risk behaviour - : health

Volume 14, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Adolescence harbours numerous crises, dilemmas and exposure to health risk behaviours. This article examines the prevalence of health risk behaviours among a selected group of adolescent girls. The sample (N = 1 805) between the ages of 13 and 16 years, was selected from three previously disadvantaged high schools in Worcester, South Africa. They completed a questionnaire based on the Youth Risk Behaviour Survey (YRBS). The research used a quasi-experimental research approach because it was impossible to select the learners randomly. A control and experimental group completed a pre-test after which the latter was subjected to a six-month intervention programme. At the end of the intervention programme a post-test was conducted on both groups and the experimental group wrote a test to assess their knowledge of health risk behaviours. The post-test results for the experimental group indicated that 58% of the respondents revealed that learners carried weapons, 15% had smoked a cigarette, 24% had consumed alcohol, 12% used drugs, 44% used condoms during their last sexual encounter, and 31% indicated that they had Physical Education at school. After the post-test, the respondents wrote a test (test 1) to assess their knowledge about health risk behaviours. The same test (test 2) was written four months after the post-test to investigate the sustainability of the intervention programme. According to the results there was no significant difference between the results of written tests 1 and 2. This could be due to the impact of the intervention programme.

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