Creating an enabling environment for adolescent sexual and reproductive health: a framework and promising approaches

J Adolesc Health. 2015 Jan;56(1 Suppl):S7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.09.011.


This article provides a conceptual framework and points out the key elements for creating enabling environments for adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). An ecological framework is applied to organize the key elements of enabling environments for ASRH. At the individual level, strategies that are being implemented and seem promising are those that empower girls, build their individual assets, and create safe spaces. At the relationship level, strategies that are being implemented and seem promising include efforts to build parental support and communication as well as peer support networks. At the community level, strategies to engage men and boys and the wider community to transform gender and other social norms are being tested and may hold promise. Finally, at the broadest societal level, efforts to promote laws and policies that protect and promote human rights and address societal awareness about ASRH issues, including through mass media approaches, need to be considered.

Keywords: Adolescents; Enabling environments; Sexual and reproductive health; Young people.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adolescent Health Services / economics
  • Adolescent Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child
  • Female
  • Global Health / economics
  • Global Health / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Power, Psychological
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Reproductive Health* / economics
  • Reproductive Health* / education
  • Reproductive Health* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Reproductive Rights / economics
  • Reproductive Rights / education
  • Reproductive Rights / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Sex Education / trends
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Offenses / trends
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Social Norms / ethnology
  • Young Adult