Using a Social Marketing Approach to Influence Sexual Behaviours of Vietnamese Adolescents

Nghiem, Anh Huyen (2021) Using a Social Marketing Approach to Influence Sexual Behaviours of Vietnamese Adolescents. Doctoral thesis, University of the West of England.

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My motivation to conduct this research began with an article entitled 'The cemetery of 50,000 dead infants' which related how buried baby corpses are collected from the roadside, clinics, or public trash bins. One of the reasons for this problem is that the percentage of 15–19-year-olds not using contraception is notably high – at 50.4% (GSO,2013). According to official statistics, 20% of girls aged 10–19 become accidentally pregnant (GSO, 2015). However, the actual situation is considerably worse. According to the Vietnam General Statistic Office, 70% of the country’s “secret abortions” are carried out on teenagers aged 13–19. This thesis therefore supports attempts to encourage Vietnamese adolescents to perform safe sex and delay sexual debut by identifying the root causes of the problem and applying a social marketing approach to develop communication messages, techniques, and campaign ideas that will change/influence adolescents’ sexual behaviours. Chapter 3 presents a review of literature in the context of Vietnam and utilises the Social Ecological Model by Bronfenbrenner (1979) to identify the possible social and cultural norms that might shape early and unprotected sexual behaviours among Vietnamese adolescents. Study 1 then identifies these unique social and cultural factors using thematic analysis. The relationships between themes are then discussed drawing on Brennan et al. (2016) to build an Ecological model of Vietnamese adolescents’ sexual behaviour, the implications of which are addressed in Study 2, which focuses on development concept testing. In Study 1, data from semi-structured in-depth interviews with 42 Vietnamese adolescents were collected and analysed. This was followed by a qualitative content analysis of over 10,000 comments on 6 YouTube clips relating to the sexual health of adolescents in Vietnam. The findings suggest that early sex and unsafe sex behaviours among Vietnamese adolescents are attributable to the following themes: Theme 1 - Cultural secrecy in sexual communication; Theme 2 - Women's powerlessness in sexual decision-making; and Theme 3 - The power of peers in normalising and disseminating sexual health ignorance and practices. Study 2 then develops social marketing communication messages and techniques based on the implications of Study 1, in combination with the COM-SM framework (Tapp and Spotswood, 2013) and persuasion techniques (Simons et al., 2001). In this study, 15 messages and techniques are proposed that can be used to persuade adolescents to perform desired sexual behaviours. The author then conducted 9 out of 10 mini focus group interviews via a Facebook group chat to test the concepts/proposals by asking adolescents for their views and recommendations. The findings were then used to help revise the proposed messages and contents. Together with recommendations on how to deliver these via social media, the thesis provides suggestions to develop several ideas for social marketing campaigns following the 8 Social Marketing Benchmark criteria (NSMC,2010) to promote safe sex and delay sexual debut. Five campaigns are generated that can form the basis of an ultimate social marketing intervention targeting different audiences. These are as follows: Campaign 1 - "The right time with the right person and a healthy romantic relationship"; Campaign 2 - "How COOL are you?"; Campaign 3 - "Talk, safe, and pleasure!"; Campaign 4 - "The UGLY TRUTH about the Internet, contraception and sexual health practices"; and Campaign 5 - "Pregnant girls, we are here for you!". The theoretical contributions are: first, to propose an Ecological behavioural model; second, utilising the model in combination with social marketing framework to influence the sexual behaviour of Vietnamese adolescents regarding the social and cultural norms; and third, it contributes to knowledge of how to apply social media and online peers in social marketing intervention positively. The methodological contribution made by this research is that it is the first in the Vietnamese context to combine a thematic analysis of semi-structured in-depth interviews with an online qualitative content analysis that can be applied to cross-cultural studies. The findings from Study 2 offer practical contributions to the field that can be used by social marketers, public health specialists, sexual educators, and policymakers.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2022 08:18
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2022 08:18

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