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Investing in adolescents in Africa holds great promise for the development of the continent. The steps involved in identifying factors linked to interventions that may accelerate the attainment of multiple SDGs for adolescents in Nigeria are described. Data from a survey to investigate the well-being of 1800 adolescents aged 10-19 years in Southwest Nigeria was analysed. A four-step process was employed: 1) Mapping of variables deemed as suitable proxies for SDG targets; 2) Mapping hypothesised protective factors (accelerators) from the study instruments. Consequently, SDG targets related to elimination of hunger, good health, gender equality and peace; and seven accelerators (safe schools, parenting support, good mental health, no survival work, food security, stable childhood, and regular physical activity) were identified; 3) evaluating associations using bivariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression, 4) calculating adjusted probabilities. The mean age of the adolescents was 15.02 ± 2.27 years (48.6% female). Good mental health, not doing survival work, safe schools, stable childhood and parental support were significantly associated with at least two SDG targets. For example, food security was significantly associated with the highest number of SDG outcomes: one SDG target related to child survival (no substance use: x2 = 3.39, p = <0.001); three SDG targets related to educational outcomes (school progression: x2 = 5.68, p = 0.017, ability to concentrate in school: x2 = 26.92, p = <0.001, and school attendance: x2 = 25.89, p = <0.001); and four SDG targets related to child protection (no risky sexual behaviours: x2 = 16.14, p = <0.001, no perpetration of violence: x2 = 15.74, p = <0.001, no community violence: x2 = 39.06, p =<0.001, and no sexual abuse: x2 = 7.66, p = 0.006). Interventions centred around good mental health, not doing survival work, safe schools, small family size, stable childhood and parental support are potential accelerators for the attainment of SDG outcomes by adolescents living in Nigeria.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychol Health Med

Publication Date



1 - 20


Nigeria, SDGs, accelerators, adolescents, health, well-being