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Social Work

On-line version ISSN 2312-7198
Print version ISSN 0037-8054


BALA, Samkelo  and  KANG'ETHE, Simon. Interplay between substance use and health: behavioural dynamics among female adolescents in Butterworth, South Africa. Social work (Stellenbosch. Online) [online]. 2020, vol.56, n.4, pp.447-459. ISSN 2312-7198.

Using an exploratory and descriptive design, as well as interviews and focus group discussions with female adolescents, their parents, former users of substances, social workers, probation officers, community leaders, teachers and police (SAPS), the paper explores the interplay between substance use by female adolescents and their behaviour. Findings revealed that substances use among female adolescents motivated sexual behaviour, sexual engagement was driven by financial goals, there was an increased risk of contracting STIs, excessive consumption of alcohol was normalised, and increased propensity for conflict became evident. The paper recommends that the government and NGOs work together synergistically in order to address substance use among adolescent females.

Keywords : female adolescents; substance use; behavioural dynamics; sexual behaviour; sexually transmitted diseases (STIs); health.

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