Sexual and reproductive health knowledges: a study with Pacific young people enrolled in an Aotearoa New Zealand tertiary institution

Cameron D. Young
Mele M Taumoepeau
Bryndl R Hohmann-Marriott
Jane E Girling
Rebecca J Bird

Pacific young people living in Aotearoa New Zealand experience disparities in their sexual and reproductive health outcomes, thought to stem from cultural differences and educational inequities. Although these barriers have been characterised in literature, their influence on Pacific youth’s understandings of sexual and reproductive health have been relatively unexplored. This study investigated the sexual and reproductive health knowledge of Pacific students enrolled at a university in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2020 and where they gained this knowledge. The study used the theoretical framework of the (revitalised) Fonofale health model and was guided by the Kakala research methodology. Data were collected by means of an online survey comprised of open-ended questions and Likert scales, completed by eighty-one eligible students. Open-ended questions were analysed for general themes and responses to Likert scale items are reported using descriptive statistical analysis. The study found that Pacific youth have strong foundations of health knowledge that is heavily influenced by Polynesian cultural beliefs. Both formal and non-formal learning environments were important in developing participants’ health knowledge of these topics and for encouraging independent help-seeking behaviours. This is the first reported study to investigate the sexual and reproductive health knowledges of a pan-Pacific tertiary cohort of young people.

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Research Type(s)
Journal Article
October 4, 2023
Published in

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