Published on: 17/10/2019

Adolescence is a period of emotional and social development, growing independence and changing relationships within families, friendships and communities. Associations between risk behaviours, poverty and inequality are complex. Research has established that social and structural deprivation, intersecting with gendered norms that disempower girls and women, are key drivers of risky behaviours and poor health outcomes. These deprivations include poverty and exclusion, income shocks, mental health distress, stigma, harsh parenting and abuse. Exposure to multiple stressors can have cumulative effects, maximising risk behaviours. In addition, these risk behaviours are primarily extra-clinical, occurring beyond healthcare facilities, in contexts in which adolescents and youth live, have fun, and take risks. the last thing an adolescent needs is to feel judged by the person who they are reaching out to for help which has been the case in many clinics and sexual reproductive health facilities.