SELF-CONCEPT, MATERNAL ATTACHMENT AND RELIGIOSITY AS PREDICTORS OF SEXUAL DEBUT AMONG SCHOOL-GOING ADOLESCENTS IN OYO STATE, NIGERIA
This study investigated the joint and relative contributions of self-concepts, maternal attachment and religiosity to the prediction of adolescents’ sexual debut. A descriptive survey design through correlational approach was employed. Four hundred and ninety six adolescents from selected secondary schools in Ogbomoso and Oyo areas of Oyo State were randomly selected through a purposive random sampling technique. Four psychological instruments were employed for the study: Self Concept Clarity Scale (α = .83) Inventory of Parents and Peers Attachment (α = .92); Religiosity Measure (α -.84), and Sexual Behaviour Experience Questionnaire (α=.78). Multiple Regression statistics was employed for analysis of the data generated. The outcomes of the study revealed that the three independent variables jointly accounted for about 50% of the total variance in sexual debut. (F(3,495) = 162.95; P < .001). The study further revealed that religiosity (β = -.884; t = -10.828, P < 0.01) is the most potent determinant of sexual debut, followed by maternal attachment (β = -.220; t = -8.461 P < 0.01) and self concept (β = -.225, t – 6.997, P < 0.01) in that order. The outcomes of the study were discussed and it was recommended among others that moral education through religious bodies should be given a chance in Nigerian schools for curtailing some of the undesirable behaviours among youths.
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