Mental health, self-esteem, and influences on sexual values and attitudes among black South African adolescent males

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 27, issue 6, 2017 , pages: 477–482
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2017.1375206
Author(s): Jabulani G KheswaOptentia Research Area, South Africa, Chrizanne van EedenOptentia Research Area, South Africa, Sebastiaan RothmannOptentia Research Area, South Africa, Elizabeth BothmaOptentia Research Area, South Africa


This study investigated the relationships between sexual values and attitudes, self-esteem, and mental health among black South African adolescents. Adolescent males (n = 522) aged between 13 and 21 years participated in the study. They completed the Mathteck Sexuality Questionnaire for Adolescents: Attitude and Value Inventory, the Rosenburg Self-esteem Scale, and the Mental Health Continuum. Structural Equation Modelling (Mplus 7.31) was computed to identify an explanatory model for sexual values and attitudes as correlated to self-esteem and mental health of black adolescent males. Results suggest the youth's self-esteem significantly mediate the relationship between mental health and sexual values and attitudes. Specifically, mental health had indirect effects on values about sexuality and on healthy attitudes towards aspects of intimacy, through the teenagers’ self-esteem.

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