Original Research

Contextual factors promoting psychosocial well-being and safe sexual behaviour in African male youth: A literature review

Jabulani G. Kheswa, Chrizanne van Eeden
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 14, No 1 | a375 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v14i1.375 | © 2018 Jabulani G. Kheswa, Chrizanne Van Eden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 August 2016 | Published: 03 December 2018

About the author(s)

Jabulani G. Kheswa, Department of Psychology, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Chrizanne van Eeden, Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, South Africa


This article reviewed literature on the psychosocial well-being of adolescent males and found that there is still a dearth of research addressing their mental health and well-being in relation to sexuality. The aim of this article was to highlight the contextual factors which may play an important role in promoting safe sexual behaviour of adolescent males, especially in South Africa, where sexually transmitted infections, teenage fatherhood and substance abuse continue to reach alarming proportions. For data collection, a desktop review was employed for its usefulness in identifying and addressing the gaps from previous studies. Grounded in theories of human development and psychological well-being, this article concludes that provision of emotional support and healthy parent-child relationships, quality peers, constructive environment and adequate knowledge from traditional male circumcision mentors may contribute to adolescent males’ safe sexual practices, decision-making skills and mental health.


adolescent male; emotional well-being; self-esteem; sexual behaviour


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