Document Type : Original Article



BACKGROUND: There is limited research on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) knowledge level 
among very young adolescents aged between 10 and 14 years. Policy makers and educators are 
unable to address very young adolescents’ SRH needs without proper understanding of their SRH 
knowledge. Thus, the objective of this study is to explore very young adolescents’ SRH knowledge 
level and the influences of demographic variables on the respondents’ SRH knowledge level in 
Malaysian primary schools.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross‑sectional study involved 617 primary five students who were 
recruited through multistage sampling method from the state of Johor, Malaysia. A self‑administered 
questionnaire (Cronbach’s α = 0.81) which comprised of 38 items related to puberty, HIV/AIDS 
and sexually transmitted diseases, prevention of child sexual abuse and reproductive systems 
and reproduction was used. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied to examine the 
association between demographic variables and student’s SRH knowledge.
RESULTS: Based on the results, 28.5% of the respondents had unsatisfactory level of SRH 
knowledge. Among the four dimensions, the respondents had more knowledge on prevention of 
child sexual abuse but displayed poorer knowledge on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases 
topic. The findings indicated female (odd ratio [OR] = 1.464) and Indian respondents (OR = 3.208) 
are more likely to exhibit poor SRH knowledge which suggested demographic factors exert some 
extent of influence on primary school children’s SRH knowledge.
CONCLUSION: The findings provide useful insights for the policy makers and educators seeking 
to improve the comprehensiveness of culturally accepted sexuality education which are essential in 
promoting young adolescents’ well‑being.


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