High school girls' and violence: a mixed-method investigation
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Violence is a problem of epidemic proportions among the youth both internationally and locally. Women and girls are not immune to the high levels of violence in society. The overall purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of health risk behaviours among black female high school learners in the Strand, Western Cape, South Africa. This article reports only on those behaviours related to violence. The method of enquiry used in the study was a mixed-method sequential explanatory strategy. In the 1st phase, learners completed a self-administered questionnaire adapted from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS) developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States (US). In the second phase, focus group discussions were conducted to explore and examine socially constructed views of learners on behaviours related to violence. The cross-sectional data of this study illustrated that many high school learners are exposed to a number of health-impacting risks derivative of exposure to multiple forms of violence. The qualitative data expanded on and contextualized the quantitative findings. The study highlighted that detailed attention must be paid to the role of the social environment as antecedent to the adoption of risky behaviours such as violence related activities.