Assessing gender norms contextualized by relationships among young adolescents aged 11-13 in Nairobi urban informal settlements
Early adolescence (ages 10-14) is one of the most critical periods in human development. It is during early adolescence that diverging sexual and reproductive health (SRH) patterns by gender become apparent, with young girls facing an increased risk of sexual abuse, unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Yet, little is known about gender norms and SRH in this age group, much due to the absence of developmentally appropriate instruments. The objective of this proposal is to develop a new instrument using vignette-based techniques to measure early adolescent gender norms contextualized by relationships in Nairobi slum areas. This instrument development will take place within Phase 1 of the WHO-Hopkins Global Early Adolescent Study -- the first multinational study focusing on gender norms and sexuality among young adolescents in urban poor settings. While Phase 1 is being implemented in three sites (Baltimore, Nairobi, New Delhi), I propose to lead the vignette-based instrument development in Nairobi together with our partners at the African Population Health and Research Center. My role would be to: train local interviewers in vignette-based techniques; prepare and conduct a three-day workshop with adolescents to develop vignette-stems using focus groups and role-plays; code and analyze back-translated data using Atlas.ti; and to serve as a focal point for integrating and comparing findings across sites. In the final cross-cultural vignette prototype, we will use photographs to describe stories followed by quantitative response options and questions. The data will also be used to inform my own dissertation research.