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Investigation of some components of female adolescent health in a school in Riyadh.


Adolescents are tomorrow's adult population and their health and well-being are vital. Female adolescent's health is an important issue which has not received much attention in spite of its importance in our country, especially in the context of the female child. In this study, an effort was made to explore practices of some components of female adolescent's health and identify their risky behaviors.


This was an exploratory, cross-sectional, self-administered question-based survey that included all adolescent females aged 15-18 years studying in all grades of one private high school in Northern Riyadh. This resulted in a sample size of 276 adolescent females.


This study was generally representing a higher socio-economic class, as the more affluent social setting represented. Adolescent female's mean age was 16.4 years. The study demonstrated that the use of the dental floss once daily or more was very low among the surveyed sample. 52.5% of the respondent teens skipped breakfast. Their reported mean body weight and Standard Deviation (S.D) were 54.5Kg ± 10.2 Kg. Only 52.2% of adolescent females of the study sample practiced physical activity in a typical week. Cigarette smokers constituted 3.6% and shisha smokers constituted 2.9%. Adolescents who reported being bullied at school in the week prior to the study period constituted 15.2%. Well educated mothers and high income families were noticeable among those with good shower taking practice during menstruation, but not statistically significant. Only 39.9% of the girls received education either at home and/or at school.


Although this study was conducted on a small portion of the population of adolescent girls in Riyadh, limiting the relevance of the results to a larger population, the findings of this study could help the Ministry of Health (MOH) and school health department to develop and initiate appropriate steps in order to educate young girls regarding these important health issues. The results of this study indicate a need for the establishment of a comprehensive school health education program with strong familial input and strategies that address the components of puberty education. In addition, at the community level, the mothers of young girls should be educated about pubertal hygiene, and be empowered with the necessary skills to communicate with their female children.