Sexual Health and Psychological Well-Being of Unmarried Adolescent Females Living in an Urban Slum in India
In India, ranked 132nd out of 148 countries in the United Nations Gender Inequality Index (2013), females face numerous challenges that pose a threat to their sexual health and psychological well-being. This paper focuses specifically on adolescent unmarried females living in an urban slum, a particularly vulnerable segment of the population that is important to empower in order to effect change. With the ultimate aim to better understand how to design effective and accessible interventions for adolescent females, this paper explores sexual health and its relation to psychological well-being from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders: adolescent girls, mothers of adolescent girls, and service providers who work with adolescent girls. To understand the unique and shared perspectives of the stakeholders regarding the constructs of psychological well-being, gender roles, and sexual health, the author utilized focus group and interview data. Through the use of the deductive-inductive coding process, the author identified overall themes and differences in perspective that elucidated the perspectives of the population. The findings revealed that there is great overlap in the three constructs studied, and each is influenced by and impacts the other. Additionally, the findings showed a trend of girls, mothers, and service providers understanding the importance of girls having access to sexual health information and openness towards mothers potentially sharing this information with daughters. Other implications, future research directions, and limitations are discussed.