This study sought to investigate psychological barriers to satisfaction of reproductive health needs of the age-cohort 10-24 years in Imo State, Nigeria. To facilitate the realization of this objective, three research questions and two hypotheses were postulated for the study. The population for the study was 93,250 which comprised students in all the secondary and tertiary institutions in Imo State. Using the multi-stage sampling procedure, a sample size of 5010 students was drawn. The sample size represented 5 per cent of the population. The study adopted cross-sectional survey research design. The instrument used for data collection was a self-constructed questionnaire, known as PSYBARNAC which contained 13 items in two sections A and B. Section ‘A’ contained the personal data (age and gender) of respondents while section ‘B’ contained the psychological barriers to satisfaction of reproductive health needs. The instrument was validated by a jury of three drawn from the Department of Physical and Health Education, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. The reliability co-efficient of 0.88 was derived using Pearson Product Moment Reliability co-efficient. The data obtained was analyzed using descriptive statistics of percentage and mean in answering the research questions, while inferential statistic of Z-test and ANOVA were used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The result showed that young persons are faced with psychological barriers to reproductive health needs. The findings further revealed that the psychological barriers experienced by age cohort 10-24 years vary by age and gender. Based on the findings of the study, the investigators recommended that, the government through the Ministry of Education and Health should package a sex education programme for young persons of varying age and other status (gender, sexual activity). This is to meet their unique reproductive health needs; the government, NGOs and communities should also develop appropriate strategies to up-date the home (parents and older siblings) with the reproductive health needs of youths and barriers to such needs. This will equip them to join effectively in providing and supporting the young persons in satisfying their reproductive health needs; health stakeholders should organize reproductive health programmes which should be comprehensive, well located and attractive to youths in terms of cost and relationship. This will motivate youths to participate in such programmes; reproductive health service providers should be trained by the government to help them evaluate their own values and understanding of needs of those they are serving, so as to ensure that all young people are treated with dignity and receive comprehensive reproductive health services that address their reproductive health needs; service providers and parents should improve on their interpersonal relationship with young person; this will help to reduce the psychological barriers that hinder young persons from accessing reproductive health services, as well as, make the services more attractive to young persons.
Keywords: Age And Gender, Barriers, Needs Psychological, Reproductive Health