Shah on Soccer, Setting Goals and Adolescent Health

A VoxDev video highlighted Public Policy Professor Manisha Shah’s study of interventions designed to reduce intimate partner violence among Tanzanian adolescents. This type of violence is highly prevalent among 15- to 24-year-olds in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the Tanzania study, interventions for girls included instruction on setting personal goals during sessions at after-school clubs. For boys, the interventions included a soccer program that wove in lessons on respecting women. “While they’re playing soccer, they’re also learning key messages, like when we respect girls and women, that’s better for all of us,” said Shah, director of the Global Lab for Research in Action at UCLA Luskin. In addition to a decline in sexual activity and intimate partner violence, the study found, girls who participated in the goal-setting activities chose partners who were closer to their age, more likely to be in school and more likely to use contraceptives.

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