Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Bev Leipert


Rural areas in Ontario tend to have higher rates of adolescent pregnancy. A constructivist grounded theory methodology was used to gain an in-depth understanding of rural female adolescents’ decision-making process regarding sexual intercourse and their reproductive health, and how they view rural factors and circumstances influencing this process. The adolescent sexual decision-making process that emerged from the analysis involved prioritizing four influences that affect and are affected by the rural context: personal values and circumstances, family values and expectations, friends’ influences, and community influences. Findings will improve our understanding of how rural female adolescents make choices regarding their reproductive health. This research has the potential to facilitate effective development of sexual health promotion initiatives in rural communities, and may help to inform rural health policy and practices and existing sexual educations programs in rural communities.