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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

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The effect of group counseling based on self-awareness skill on sexual risk-taking among girl students in Gorgan, Iran: a randomized trial

Golnoosh Kabiri
  • Counseling and Reproductive Health Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Tayebe Ziaei
  • Corresponding author
  • Counseling and Reproductive Health Research Center,Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Department of Midwifery, P.O. Box 568-49165, Gorgan, Iran, Phone: 989111758007
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Masumeh Rezaei aval
  • Counseling and Reproductive Health Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Mohammad Ali Vakili
  • Health Management and Social Development Research Center, Department of Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-09-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0065



Sexual puberty in adolescents occurs before their mental and emotional maturity and exposes them to high-risk sexual behaviors. Because sexual risk-taking occurs before adolescents become involved in a sexual relationship, this study was conducted to identify the effect of group counseling based on self-awareness skill on sexual risk-taking among female high school students in Gorgan in order to suggest some preventative measures.


The present parallel study is a randomized field trial conducted on 96 girl students who were studying in grades 10, 11 and 12 of high school with an age range of 14–18 years old. Sampling was done based on a multi-stage process. In the first stage, through the randomized clustering approach, four centers among six health centers were selected. In the second stage, 96 samples were collected through consecutive sampling. Finally, the samples were divided into two intervention and control groups (each one having 48 subjects) through the simple randomized approach. It has to be noted that no blinding was done in the present study. The data were collected using a demographic specifications form and the Iranian Adolescents Risk-Taking Scale (IARS). The consultation sessions based on self-awareness skill were explained to an intervention group through 60-min sessions over 7 weeks. The pretest was conducted for both groups and the posttest was completed 1 week and 1 month after the intervention by the intervention and control groups. Finally, after the loss of follow-up/drop out, a total of 80 subjects remained in the study; 42 subjects in the intervention group and 38 subjects in the control group. Data analyses were done using SPSS v.16 along with the Freidman non-parametric test and the Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon tests.


The results showed that the sexual risk-taking mean scores in the intervention group (10.54 ± 15.64) were reduced by applying 1-week (8.03 ± 12.82) and 1-month (4.91 ± 10.10) follow-ups after the intervention. This reduction was statistically significant (p = 14%). However, no statistically significant difference was observed in the control group.


Group counseling based on self-awareness skill decreased the sexual risk-taking in girl students of the high school. As prevention is prior to treatment, this method could be proposed as the prevention of high-risk sexual behavior to healthcare centers and educational environments and non-government organizations (NGOs) interacting with adolescents.

Keywords: adolescence; group counseling; self-awareness skills; sexual risk-taking.


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About the article

Received: 2017-04-17

Accepted: 2017-07-16

Published Online: 2017-09-15

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170065, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0065.

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