Main Organiser

Julius Centre University of Malaya


Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malay

Supported by

University of Malaya



Nik Daliana Nik Farid 1, 2, 4, Sulaiman Che’ Rus 3 , Maznah Dahlui 2 , Nabilla Al-Sadat 1,2


1 Centre for Population Health (CePH), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3 Institute for Health Behavioural Research
4 Ministry of Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Objectives: To examine the association between individual and interpersonal factors of adolescents in welfare institutions with sexual risk behaviour.

Methods: Data were derived from a cross-sectional study on sexual risk behaviour among 1082 adolescents in 22 welfare institutions located across Peninsular Malaysia, conducted at the end of 2009. Using supervised self-administered questionnaires, adolescents were asked to assess their self esteem (using the Rosenberg’s Self Esteem Scale) and to complete questions on pubertal onset, substance use, family structure, family connectedness, parental monitoring and peer pressure. Sexual risk behaviour was measured through scoring of five items that include sexual initiation, age of sexual debut, number of sexual partners, condom use and sex with high risk partners.

Results: The study showed that 55.1% (CI = 52.0- 58.2) of the total sample was observed to practice high sexual risk behaviour. For predictors of sexual risk behaviours, among male adolescents, smoking was the strongest contributor (p = 0.03, OR = 10.3, CI = 1.25-83.9). Among females, high family connectedness (p=0.001, OR = 3.13, CI = 1.64-5.95) seemed to predict the behaviour.

Conclusion: There were gender differences in predicting sexual risk behaviour as observed in this study. Thus, a gender-specific sexual and reproductive health intervention for adolescents is recommended.