Effects of puberty health education on 10-14 year-old girls' knowledge, attitude, and behavior

Afsaneh Afghari, Shokouh Eghtedari, Rezvan Pashmi, Gholam Hossein Sadri



Background: Unfamiliarity of adolescents with puberty can lead to physical, psychological, and emotional problems. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a puberty health education course on 10-14 year-old girls' knowledge, attitude, and behavior.

Methods: In a semi-experimental study 1670 10-14 year-old girls were selected from schools in Isfahan province using stratified sampling and were educated in a three months course by health teachers. The content of the educational course included physiologic, psychological, physical, and other information about puberty. Data was collected using a questionnaire about knowledge, attitude, and healthy behavior filled out by interviewing the subjects before and after the course. Analysis of data was done using descriptive and inferential statistics (t-test, chi square, and ANOVA).

Results: All participants completed the course. Mean scores of knowledge, attitude, and also healthy behavior were significantly higher at the end of the educational course compared with baseline scores (p < 0.001). There was also a significant relationship between girls' attitudes toward puberty and their parents' education levels (p < 0.001, r = 0.5) and also between participants' school achievements and their knowledge, attitude, and behavior (p < 0.05, r = 0.6).

Conclusion: An appropriate educational program including physical and psychological changes, as well as the appropriate nutrition during puberty improves female adolescents' knowledge, attitude, and behavior. To give teenage girls the opportunity to enjoy their youth before becoming a mother, it is necessary to educate them about reproductive health issues.

Key words: Puberty, knowledge, attitude, behavior, education

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