Sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unplanned pregnancy challenge the health of Scottish teens. We conducted focus groups with teens (ages 16–19 years) recruited from an urban youth cafe in Edinburgh and assessed sexual risk-taking and protective behaviors. A trained facilitator, using a semi-structured interview guide, led the groups. We taped and transcribed data verbatim for coding and theming. The teens revealed similar concerns despite differences in gender and/or sexual histories. Despite school-based sex education, sex was rarely discussed with peers or adults outside classrooms; the ability to practice communication and negotiation skills was minimal. Much risky behavior occurred in public spaces and was often linked to drug or alcohol intake. There was a glaring lack of teen planning for, or contemplating, future adult lives. Findings highlight the challenges these teens faced in practicing safer sex and limited opportunities to tailor intervention strategies to address the cultural realities of their lives.
Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, is the Centennial Professor of Nursing and Chief Talent and Global Strategy Officer, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA. Caroline Hollins Martin, PhD, RM, RGN, is Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Professor in Maternal Health, School of Health and Social Care, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom. Janette Pow, PhD, RGN, is Lecturer, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, School of Health and Social Care, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom. Lawrie Elliott, PhD, is Professor of Public Health Nursing, Department of Nursing and Community Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Corresponding author: Dianne Morrison-Beedy, e-mail: Morrisonfirstname.lastname@example.org
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