Social Cognitive Theory and Premarital Sex among Adolescents in Yogyakarta

Sitti Nur Djannah

Department of Public Health Science, Ahmad Dahlan University


BACKGROUND: Globalization and modernization seemed to have profound impact on the behavior of teenagers, especially sexual behavior. Social-cognitive theory proposed by Albert Bandura is a theoretical pers-pective that focuses on learning by observing others. One of the assump-tions in the social-cognitive theory puts that learners can acquire new behaviors and knowledge by simply observing a model. A model is a person who demonstrates behavior for someone else. A peer group of an adolescent may function as this model. This study aimed to explain the role of peer group and mass-media in premarital sex among adolescents in Yogyakarta.

SUBJECT AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Yogyakarta, with quantitative and qualitative methods of data collec-tion. A sample of 47 teenagers was selected from Turonggo Wiro Budoyo community, Wirobrajan, Yogyakarta. The dependent variable was prema-rital sex. The independent variables were coercive initiative, exposure to pornographic mass-media, and reference to peer group model. The peer group under study was that with any member ever had experienced premarital sex. A set of questionnaire was developed and pre-tested to measure the study variables. Bivariate analysis with Odds Ratio and Chi-Square was used to analyze the data.

RESULTS: Incidence of premarital sex showed positive and strong asso-ciation with coercive initiative (OR= 20.30; 95%CI= 2.21 to 186.00; p<0.001), exposure to pornographic mass-media (OR= 3.88; 95% CI= 0.09 to 21.70; p= 0. 105), and reference to peer group model (OR= 6.00; 95% CI= 1.06 to 33.95; p=0.028).

CONCLUSION: Coercive initiative, exposure to pornographic mass-media, and reference to peer group model, are risk factors premarital sex among adolescents in Yogyakarta. This study supports Albert Bandura‚Äüs social-cognitive theory, which emphasizes the role of peer group that func-tions as a model for adolescents to observe and learn about premarital sex as a new behavior.

Keywords: social-cognitive theory, peer group, model, premarital sex, adolescent


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