Risk and protective factors affecting youth reproductive health in Indonesia with the focus on Aceh province

Author: Yuniarini Yuniarini

Yuniarini, Yuniarini, 2023 Risk and protective factors affecting youth reproductive health in Indonesia with the focus on Aceh province, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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During 2012-2017, Indonesia faced several challenges regarding youth reproductive health, such as high youth fertility, adolescent childbearing issues, increasing prevalence of sexually transmitted infections, and declines in contraceptive prevalence, antenatal care coverage and knowledge of pregnancy risks. Other challenges include low knowledge of HIV preventions, low birth weight babies and increasing stillbirth rate.


The main objective is to examine youth reproductive health outcomes in Indonesia 2017, focusing on Aceh province. The specific objectives are: 1) To identify and analyse the factors influencing youth reproductive health indicators; 2) To analyse the knowledge of HIV- prevention among the youth; 3) To construct a youth reproductive health index (RHI); and 4) To provide recommendations about youth reproductive health in Indonesia.


Quantitative data on never-married and married youth aged 15-24 years, extracted from the 2017 Indonesia Demographic and Health Survey and 2017 Indonesia Youth Reproductive Health Survey are analysed with SPSS Version Qualitative data, collected through ten focus group discussions (FGDs) and 20 In-depth interviews spread over five selected districts of Aceh Province in 2021 are analysed with NVivo. Covid-19 travel restrictions to Indonesia prevented the researcher from conducting the FGDs and In-depth interviews in person. Instead, these were managed remotely from Adelaide, by employing four research assistants who facilitated the FGDs at local university campuses to adhere to government regulations on Covid-19. The In-depth interviews were conducted online by the researcher by using virtual platforms Zoom and WebEx.

Key Findings

The analysis of quantitative data revealed that reproductive health outcomes among youth in Indonesia are affected by a number of socio-economic and demographic variables such as women’s and partner’s age, women’s and partner’s level of education, place of residence, household wealth quintile, number of living children, discussion about family planning with partner or friends/neighbours, number of children ever born, health insurance coverage, number of ANC visits, pregnancy complications, school attendance, number of sources of HIV knowledge, experience in attending or visiting peer-educator or health counsellor programs, knowledge of STI and HIV, and schools as sources of HIV knowledge. Some of these variables are classified as protective factors of youth reproductive health, while some others are classified as risk factors. The analysis of qualitative data, organised into nine main themes: 1) Youth’s physical and mental condition; 2) Youth’s attitude and knowledge towards reproductive health; 3) Risky behaviour; 4) Family influence; 5) Peer influence; 6) Community influence and government programs; 7) Social norms; 8) Accessibility and health care provider as key access points to reproductive health services; and 9) Exposure to social media and modern technologies of communication, explained various aspects of the state of youth reproductive health through the eyes of youth and community leaders in the context of local cultural and socio-economic conditions and Islamic Sharia Law, which provided valuable insights into the findings of quantitative analysis, particularly with reference to Aceh. Appropriate measures are recommended to address youth reproductive health issues in Indonesia.

Keywords: youth, reproductive health, teenage, sexuality, Aceh, fertility

Subject: Sociology thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2023
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Associate Prof Udoy Saikia