Preventing risky behaviours among young adolescents in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: A qualitative study

Anjalee Kohli, Mitima Mpanano Remy, Arsene Kajabika Binkurhorhwa, Clovis Murhula Mitima, Alfred Bacikenge Mirindi, Nadine Bufole Mwinja, Jean Heri Banyewesize, Gisele Mushengezi Ntakwinja, Nancy A. Perrin, Nancy Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This qualitative study explores and describes adolescent risk behaviours, specifically consumption of alcohol and use of violence; the perceived consequences of these behaviours on future well-being and relationships; and collaboratively identifies the essential components of a prevention intervention for risk behaviours (alcohol use, violence) among young adolescents while strengthening the protective individual and relationship factors in post-conflict Democratic Republic of Congo. One-on-one in-depth interviews were conducted with 28 male and female youth, 20 parents/guardians and 20 stakeholders in three rural villages of South Kivu Province. Trained interviewers conducted interviews and participated in daily debriefing. Descriptive qualitative analysis was used to analyse the data. Youth use of violence and alcohol was associated with a range of factors including peer influence, parent behaviours, school enrolment and poverty. The consequences of risk behaviour include damaged family and social bonds, reduced economic and educational productivity and promise. Community-based, multilevel prevention interventions that promote protective factors and reduce youth exposure and vulnerability to risk factors may have immediate and long-term impact on youth health and behaviour. Such a programme could engage youth, adults and local stakeholders in a range of social, educational and economic activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1241-1253
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2018


  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Primary prevention
  • post-conflict
  • risk behaviour
  • young adolescents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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