Demographic Factors as Determinants of Adolescents’ Help-seeking Intention for Sexual Exploitation in Tanzania

Budeba Petro Mlyakado, Chi Mei Jessica Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This study examines the influence of adolescents’ gender, age, locality, and history of
sexual victimisation on adolescents’ help-seeking intention for sexual exploitation. It
compares how these demographic variables influence adolescents’ intention to seek help
from formal sources (teachers, police, doctors/nurses, counsellors/social workers, local
government leaders, and religious leaders); informal sources (parents, i.e., father and
mother), guardians (uncles, aunts and grandparents);siblings (brothers,sisters or cousins),
and friends. In this study, a cross-sectional survey is used to examine responses from a
stratified random sample of 1,116 adolescents aged 13-17 years (M = 15.66; SD = 1.09),
recruited from rural and urban secondary schools in Tanzania. The sample comprises 21%
of adolescents who indicated at least one experience of sexual victimisation, measured
using a modified ‘Sexual Coercion Scale’; whereas adolescents’ intention to seek help for
sexual exploitation is measured using the ‘General Help-Seeking Questionnaire’. Data
analyses are performed using dependent and independent t-tests. The results indicate that
the majority of the surveyed adolescents have moderate intention to seek help for sexual
exploitation. Additionally, being male, aged 15 years or below, living in urban, and having
a history of sexual victimisation are associated with low intention to seek help for sexual
exploitation, especially from informal sources of help. The findings of this study are
discussed in context of Tanzania. Interventions to enhance help-seeking intention and
behaviour among adolescents and remove the resistance to sources of help through
strengthening the preferred sources of help are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)35-49
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Education, Humanities & Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021


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