Dyadic Communication between Mother and Adolescent Daughter regarding Menstruation

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Muhammad Zakaria
Kazi Taslima Nasrin Jarin


Mother-adolescent daughter dyadic communication regarding sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is an effective means to transmit reproductive knowledge and to promote safe behavior among adolescent girls. In Bangladesh, especially in rural areas, teenage girls usually hesitate to discuss SRH matters openly with their mothers because of cultural taboo and orthodox values. This study aims at assessing different aspects of mother-daughter communication concerning menstruation and factors associated with these outcome variables in Chittagong district, Bangladesh. A cross-sectional study was conducted among the female students (N = 1031) five high schools. Data were collected using a structured and self-administered questionnaire. Cross-tabulation with chi-square (χ2) and logistic regression analysis were performed using IBM SPSS version 24.0. In addition to that, a number of FGDs were conducted to get deeper insight over this issue. In all, 71% respondents reported their dyadic communication with mothers commenced after menarche and 32% daughters initiated menustration-related conversation by themselves. In addition, about one-fourth of mothers explained menstruation as a disease, while 30.5% mothers suggested their daughters to use cloths or cotton instead of sanitary pads. Besides, 19% mothers precluded their daughters from touching anyone during their period and about one-third mother restricted their daughters from going to school or outside. FGD results show versatile picture in their conversational pattern and sociocultural practice which support the survey findings. This study also examined the association between the use of media as well as social media and different patterns of mother-daughter dyadic communication and found positive relationship. In logistic regression analyses, students studying science, urban students, having good SRH knowledge, having amicable relationship and regular general communication between mother and daughter, mothers having good SRH knowledge, getting mothers as the primary source of period-related knowledge were reported as the significant predictors  for different aspects of mother-daughter communication on menstruation.

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