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Sexual risk behaviors were common among street adolescents. This could result in a variety of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) problems. This descriptive study aimed to identify the level of SRH behaviors among street adolescents and to describe how they manage when experiencing SRH problems. The sample consisted of 153 street adolescents; age 13-19 living in Bangkok, and recruited by purposive and snowballing sampling. Data were collected using an SRH behavior questionnaire validated by 5 experts and Cronbach’ alpha reliability was 0.94. An interview guideline was used to explore 36 informants’ self-management when experiencing SRH problems. The descriptive statistics, including frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, were used to analyze quantitative data. Content analysis was also used to analyze qualitative data.
The results showed that the level of SRH behaviors of street adolescents were at a low to moderate level. The overall mean scores showed a moderate level. None of any items showed appropriate behavior. The most serious improper behavior was that they never informed their partners when they got sexual transmitted infection. When experiencing SRH problems, they would response differently depending on their perception of severity. They did nothing until the symptoms were getting worse; pain, immobility, and dysfunction. Administering self-medication, consulting friends, and seeking for health information from internet were commonly used to manage their symptoms. As a result, they got maltreatment and were dangerous themselves. Visiting healthcare service was their last choice when the problems were out of control because of unfriendly service and unaffordability.
This study suggested that SRH behaviors of street adolescents need to be urgently focused. It would be necessary to have health care providers who can work with street children in a supportive, non-judgmental way to help them protect their sexual life, overcome all barriers, and improve their quality of life.
บทความที่ได้รับการตีพิมพ์ เป็นลิขสิทธิ์ของวารสารวิทยาลัยพยาบาลบรมราชชนนี กรุงเทพ ไม่สามารถนำไปตีพิมพ์ซ้ำในวารสารฉบับอื่น