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Asia Pac J Public Health. 2014 Sep;26(5 Suppl):44S-52S. doi: 10.1177/1010539514544700. Epub 2014 Jul 28.

Sexual activity among Malaysian school-going adolescents: what are the risk and protective factors?

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Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Family Health and Development Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Putrajaya, Malaysia.


This study aimed to identify risk and protective factors associated with sexual activity among Malaysian adolescents. Data from the World Health Organization Global School-based Student Health Survey 2012 were analyzed. A total of 23 645 students aged 12 to 17 years responded using self-administered validated questionnaire. The overall prevalence of reported ever-had sex was 8.3%. Logistic regression analysis revealed that ever-had sex was positively significantly associated with ever-used drugs (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 7.71; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 6.51-9.13), and to a lesser extent, ever-smoked (aOR = 1.83; 95% CI = 1.62-2.07) and ever-consumed alcohol (aOR = 1.33; 95% CI = 1.15-2.53). Protective factors against ever-had sex were having a close friend (aOR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.50-0.81), parental bonding (aOR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.65-0.81), supportive peers (aOR = 0.77; 95% CI = 0.69-0.86), and parental connectedness (aOR = 0.88; 95% CI = 0.78-0.99). Although the prevalence of sexual activity among school-going adolescents in Malaysia is relatively low, identifying the risk and protective factors is crucial toward developing an integrated multiple approach to preventing sexual-related problems.


adolescent health; epidemiology; population health; population studies; public health; reproductive epidemiology

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