Female Adolescents and Life Skills based on the Social Cognitive Theory: A Qualitative Study

Authors

1 PhD in Health Education and Health promotion, Professor, Department of Public Health, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran.

2 PhD Candidate in Health Education and Health Promotion, International Campus, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

3 Professor, PhD in Health Education and Health Promotion, Aging Health Department, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

4 MSc in Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran.

5 PhD in Psychology, Assistant professor, Faculty of Para Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran.

Abstract

Background: Adolescence is one of the most important periods of life for all people. This is a transition period from childhood to adulthood, through which individuals should learn to make the right decisions and apply the life skills. This study aimed to explain the life skills' experiences of 12-14 year-old female adolescents.
Materials and Methods: In this qualitative content analysis study, adolescent girls aged 12-14 years were selected by the purposeful sampling method. The data were collected using individual interviews and focus group discussions. The recorded audio files were transcribed. Then, the information was compared and merged with the available literature in the field. A classification matrix was created according to the constructs of the social cognitive theory (SCT). Categories were derived from the constructs of SCT and themes were extracted from the analysis and interpretation of data.
Results: The main extracted themes consisted of the environmental, behavioral, and personal factors. The theme of environmental factors included two categories of interpersonal relationships and influential role models as well as access to resources and facilities. The theme of behavioral factors included the categories of skills and the personal factors' theme contained the categories of personality traits, attitudes, perceived self-efficacy, knowledge, and outcome expectations.
Conclusion: The use of life skills by adolescents is influenced by personal, environmental, and behavioral factors. Therefore, appropriate conditions should be provided for the adolescents to use the life skills. These conditions include acquisition of knowledge and skills, perception of positive outcome expectancies, existence of influential role models, existence of supportive systems, access to facilities, and positive attitudes.

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