Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
GOMES, Waldelene de A. et al. Adolescents' knowledge about adolescence, puberty and sexuality. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, n.4, pp. 301-308. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572002000400009.
Objective: the objective of this research was to evaluate the level of knowledge about adolescence, pubertal development and sexuality among adolescents from 10 to 14 years old at municipal public schools in Feira de Santana-Bahia, 2000. Methods: cross-sectional study, with a randomized and proportional sample out of a population of 6,419 students in the municipal Public System. The level of knowledge was analyzed according to age, sex and educational level. Data was collected by means of a specific confidential questionnaire, which was pre-tested. A scale of values (score - satisfactory, reasonable and unsatisfactory) was established according to the percentage and proportional number of right answers regarding general and specific topics. Statistical inference was calculated by chi-square (x2) with a significance of 5% as well as the bivariate and multivariate analysis, calculating the simple and adjusted prevalence, through stratified analysis. Results: adolescents showed unsatisfactory level of information about terms, particularly those at the age of 10 (69.2%) and 11 years (70.6%), female (61.7%) and the ones in the 4th (82.8%) and 5th (61.1%) grades. The level of knowledge according to sex, adjusted by age and educational level, showed that females are 1.3 and 1.27 times more likely to present an unsatisfactory level of knowledge than males. The level of knowledge according to educational level, adjusted by age, showed that those subjects between 4th and 5th grades are 2.32 times more likely to present an unsatisfactory level of knowledge if compared to students of 6th and 8th grades, with significant differences (p 0.05). Conclusions: the high prevalence of unsatisfactory level of knowledge with significant association between 4th and 5th grades and females points to the necessity of educative actions regarding health and sexuality in the beginning of adolescence at municipal public schools.
Keywords : level of knowledge; adolescence; puberty; sexuality.