Journal of Community Health

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 749–755 | Cite as

Risk-Taking Behaviors and Sexual Violence Among Secondary School Students in Tanzania

  • Teigan DwyerEmail author
  • Shalini Kulasingam
  • Katherine Mwimbe Kamm
  • Dickson Chinunje
  • Rogers Malamsha
  • Said Mawji
  • Rainer Kapinga
  • Charles Majinge
Original Paper


There is limited district level data on drug or alcohol use as well as sex and reproductive history among secondary school students in Tanzania to inform prevention efforts. To address this, we conducted a survey of 2523 secondary school students in 2 districts (Bahi and Mpwapwa) and the Dodoma municipal area in Tanzania. Overall, fifty three percent were female and 67% were between the ages of 15 and 17 years old. Students in the Dodoma Municipality district self-reported the highest prevalence of forced sex, sex for gifts or money, and drug use. Students in the Bahi district reported the highest prevalence of alcohol use. Males reported a higher prevalence of consensual sex, contraception use, and alcohol and drug use compared to females, the latter of whom reported a higher prevalence of forced sex. Most students’ indicated that their primary source of sex and reproductive health information was their teachers. These results suggest the need for tailored interventions among secondary school students in the Dodoma region in Tanzania.


Adolescent health Risk-taking behaviors Sexual health Students Tanzania 



This study received financial support from a University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health Hawley Grant; University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health Martinson-Luepker Travel Award; and University of Minnesota, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Development Travel Grant.

Authors Contributions

TD, MK, SK and CM conceived the study. TD, DC, RM performed the data collection. TD drafted the manuscript. All authors read and/or provided revisions and gave approval for final version of the manuscript to be published.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10900_2019_673_MOESM1_ESM.docx (26 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 26 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of Minnesota Twin-CitiesMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Community Health DepartmentDodoma Christian Medical CenterDodomaTanzania
  3. 3.Mpwapwa District CouncilDodomaTanzania
  4. 4.Bahi District CouncilDodomaTanzania
  5. 5.University of Minnesota Twin-CitiesMinneapolisUSA

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