Harmful Traditional Practices among Adolescents: Knowledge, Perception and Complications


  • Nneka Gabriel-Job University of Port Harcourt
  • E. A. Udofia Department of Community Medicine, University of Ghana
  • N. A. Akani Department of Paediatrics and Childs Health, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria




Harmful traditional practices, adolescents, perception, complications


Background: The use of traditional practices among adolescents continue to be a topic of public health importance as these practices are predominantly done within the adolescence period with several of these adolescents also living with the complications. This study explored the perception, determine the prevalence and complications of harmful traditional practices among adolescents in Rivers State.

Methodology: A descriptive, cross-sectional community-based study using a mixed-methods approach was done in three selected communities in Rivers State. The participants were adolescents aged 15-19 years. A pre-tested interviewer- administered semi structured questionnaire was used for quantitative study while FGD guide was used to obtain qualitative data. SPSS version 25 statistical package and NVivo 11 Pro software were used for analysis.

Results: A total of 981 adolescents aged 15-19 years were interviewed. Five hundred and twenty five (53%) of them were females while 456 (46%) were males. Nearly all (93.8%) of the adolescents had used a form of traditional practices. The prevalence of harmful traditional practices (HTPs) among adolescents is 16.1%. Majority of the adolescents were of the opinion that such practices should be abolished while 127(80.4%) of those who were subjected to HTPs reported different forms of complications.

Conclusion: Traditional practice is common among adolescents despite recognized complications with a prevalence of HTPs of 16%. Majority of the adolescents are of the opinion that such practices should be abolished especially the harmful ones. There is need to continuously enlighten the populace on the dangers of harmful traditional practices.


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How to Cite

Gabriel-Job, N., Udofia, E. A., & Akani, N. A. (2023). Harmful Traditional Practices among Adolescents: Knowledge, Perception and Complications . The Nigerian Health Journal, 22(4), 433–439. https://doi.org/10.60787/tnhj.v22i4.632



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