Documented Useful Information On The Effect Of Teenage Pregnancy

Medical and Health Science Project and Seminar Material

Documented Useful Information On The Effect Of Teenage Pregnancy


Abstract


This study investigated the effect of teenage pregnancy among youths in Chikun Community of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design involving 200 youths. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data collected. The results revealed that the age at which teenagers engage in sexual intercourse is too early, that low socio-economic status, cultural factors, permissiveness of parents, drop in moral values, and teenagers’ sexual behaviours are causes of teenage pregnancy. Also that school dropout, low self-esteem, unemployment and early parenthood were effect of teenage pregnancy. Based on the findings, recommendations and implications for counseling were made.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Teenage pregnancy can be defined as pregnancy occurring in a girl between the ages of 13 – 17 years (Drife, 2001). Teenage pregnancy is defined as an underage girl (usually within the age of 13 – 19) becoming pregnant. (Grobler, 2003).

This may occur in both married and unmarried girls of this age group. Majority of the teenagers become pregnant without having what is takes to be a mother. As a result, they encounter a lot of problems and difficulties in the process. This is found in all societies but more especially in northern part of the country, Nigeria. More emphasis will be placed on Chikun Community where lack of parental care and the way parents give their daughters in marriage at a very tender age has contributed to high rate of teenage pregnancies in the community.

Globally, South Africa has as a very high rate of teenage pregnancy and teenage parenthood. The average age of the mother is about 19 years. (Grobler, 2003). He as observed that the mortality rate and morbidity amongst the babies form by these mothers is high and the mothers have high risk of having complications such as hypertension and intrapartum complications.

The most alarming trend associated with teenage pregnancy concerns the decline of early marriage, in that in the 20th century to the early 1990s early marriage was practiced, that is; marriage at younger ages and more restricted sexuality. Today, some teenage pregnancies and teen births are to unmarried girls. These girls lack maturity, the skills, and the assistance that are necessary for good parenting. Teenagers are having more sex, at earlier ages and without the use of contraceptives. Guttmacher Institute (2004) revealed that 60 percent of girls have their first sexual intercourse before their 13th birthday. Also Banerjee, Pandey, Dutt, Sengupta, Mondal,&Deb (2009) asserted that early dating of boys and girls from age 12 is a contributing factor to teenage pregnancy since they indulge in sexual activities. Similarly, Miller (2006) posited that girls are having sex at early ages between 10-13 years. Lack of parental guidance is another cause of teenage pregnancy in that most people evade their children from talking about sex. In some cases, they provide false information regarding sex and discourage their children to participate in any informative discussion about sex (Colin, 2003) Stanley and Swierzeski (2011) opined that teenage pregnancy is as a result of poverty. Also Popenoe (1998) revealed that teenagers that get pregnant are from low socio-economic status parents. Guttmacher Institute (2005) posited that economics may also be responsible for teenagers child bearing is heavily concentrated among poor and low-income teenagers and that while low-income youths may not intend to have a baby, they may not be sufficiently motivated to avoid pregnancy. Teenage girls who belong to the poor families are more likely to get pregnant. Robin (2005) reported that American popular culture glorifies sex and ignores responsibility. Beginning in early childhood, young people are bombarded with sexual messages, at the same time, puritanical attitude restrict the availability of resources and frank discussions about sex. This is why teenagers engage in early sexual activities. Also Female Problem (2010) reported that in developing countries, teenage pregnancy is as a result of traditional roles and early marriage because teenage pregnancy is seen as a blessing from God. Locoh (2000) posited that in some societies, early and traditional gender roles are important factors in the rate of teenage pregnancy particularly in some Sub- Sahara African countries, early pregnancy is often seen as a blessing because it is proof of the young woman’s fertility.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Teenage pregnancy is common in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. According to (Ruth, 2003) early sexual activity poses health problems to young women, some of the problems include anemia, pregnancy induced hypertension and prolonged labour. The baby is at greater risk of low birth weight and this leads to higher prenatal mortality rate. (Wikipedia, 2009).

Teenage pregnancy makes the teenagers vulnerable to unplanned parenthood. In addition, women who have sex at a very early age are more biologically susceptible to a number of sexual transmitted infections, which include (HIV/AIDS), than adult women. (Myles, 1999).

As a result of teenage pregnancy, many young girls in our society have been rendered hopeless, because of the associated problems especially to little children. Teenage pregnancy has health hazard and most teenagers suffer from prolonged labour, Vesico Vaginal Firstula (VVF) and sometimes the mother and baby die during labour. Wikipedia (2009).Teenage Pregnancy has created problems of child abuse, dumping of children in gutters and on many occasion abortions. Wikipedia(2009). It is as a result of these perceived negativities in teenage pregnancy that the researcher embarks on this study.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The objectives of the study are as follows:

  1. To identify the causes of teenage pregnancy
  2. To identify the effects of teenage pregnancy
  3. To identify strategies to curb causes and effects of teenage pregnancy in Chikun community Local Government.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

Hypotheses One
  • Ho: Teenage pregnancy has a negative effect on teenagers in Chikun community.
  • Hi: Teenage pregnancy has a positive effect on teenagers in Chikun community
Hypotheses Two
  • Ho: There is no relationship between poverty and teenage pregnancy in chikun community.
  • Hi: There is a relationship between poverty and teenage pregnancy in chikun community.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study on the effect of teenage pregnancy will be useful to parent, teenagers and the society at large, as it will provide useful information on the effect of teenage pregnancy and provide useful recommendations on how to curb the ugly menace. It will also be useful to other researchers who intend to carry out the same or similar topics as it will serve as a source of reference.


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is primarily concerned with an assessment of documented useful information on the effect of teenage pregnancy. This study covers Chikun Community of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following.

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Child Abuse:

Maltreatment of the younger ones. (Yusufu, 2004)

Culture:

This is defined as the belief, customs and social institution of a particular community. (Willcox, 1999).

Disease:

A state of in balance of one or more cells component or condition of cells fluid. (Omojaye, 2004).

Delinquency:

Minor offence of misdeed especially by the young ones. (Wikipedia, 2009).

Early Marriage:

Early marriage can be defined as a union of man and woman either legally or illegally below the age of eighteen (18) or (below the normal age of child bearing) (Ruth, 2003).

HIV/AIDS:

Human Immune Deficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to have a critical analysis of documented useful information on the effect of teenage pregnancy.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations are made, which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefit in addressing the challenges of teenage pregnancy.


5.2 Summary

This study aimed at havinga critical analysis of the effect of teenage pregnancy. Three objectiveswere raised to guide the study. These objectives include:To identify the causes of teenage pregnancy, to identify the effects of teenage pregnancy and to identify strategies to curb causes and effects of teenage pregnancy in chikun community.


5.3 Conclusion

Based on the above findings pertaining to the objectives of the study the following conclusions are drawn.

  1. Teenage pregnancy and school attendance: Teenage pregnancy has a detrimental effect on the education and future plans of teenagers in secondary schools. This is because the teenage mothers attend school irregularly and sometimes drop out of school. They come to school late and play truancy.
  2. Teenage pregnancy and school performance: The educators in this study believed that the teenage pregnancy and mothering resulted in poor school performance. The general performance of secondary schools with higher rates of teenage pregnancy in the Mankweng district was also reported by educators to be negatively affected.
  3. Teenage pregnancy and emotional behaviour: Teenage pregnancy negatively affects the emotional behaviour of the pregnant and mothering teenagers. They experienced stigmatisation, hormonal imbalances and mood swings which included a withdrawal syndrome. The pregnant teenagers had a general negative attitude towards school and school authorities. The pregnant teenagers were reported to be generally aggressive and to suffer inferiority complex or a low self-esteem.
  4. Strategies to reduce or prevent teenage pregnancy: There are various ways of reducing or preventing teenage pregnancy as suggested by the educators. These include, among others, dramatizing teenage pregnancy and its effects, usage of audio-visual aids such as DVDs that portray the effects of teenage pregnancy, making use of the ABC rule where A stands for „abstinence‟, B for „being faithful to oneself‟, and C meaning „character formation‟, and among others, the importance of introducing sex education in schools and net-working with other departments, for example, the Department of Health and social development (Social workers) and the Department of Health (Nurses) to come to school and help educate learners on sexuality and teenage pregnancy.

5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendations are made on the basis of the findings that emerged from this study:

  1. Educators should instill a positive attitude in pregnant learners towards attending school on daily basis by pointing out to them the short and long-term disadvantages of irregular school attendance, and how this can permanently ruin their future. Parents’ meetings should be held at least once per quarter for educators to address with the parents, issues related to teenage pregnancy and to educate the parents on how to support their teenage girls who have fallen pregnant so that these girls should be able to continue with their schooling.
  2. The government should establish health centres or school clinics in secondary schools to alleviate the problem of absenteeism, truancy and ultimately grade repetition, based on reasons behind antenatal clinic consultations. Mobile clinics can also be provided to rural secondary schools in collaboration with the Department of Health at least once per week for professional nurses to attend to pregnant teenagers‟ issues, and to supply teenagers with the necessary preventative measures.
  3. The educators should consider giving emotional support to pregnant teenagers by showing them love and empathy. Negative remarks about pregnant learners in the classroom situation should be avoided at all costs. Advices or corrections pertaining to the state of affairs of pregnant teenagers should be done in camera or privately by the teacher, not in the presence of other learners who are not pregnant. This will promote good relationships between educators and pregnant teenagers.
  4. Learners who are not pregnant in secondary schools should avoid discriminating against those that are pregnant. Educators should teach learners who are not pregnant never to tease and arouse the temper of those that are pregnant so that both learners should maintain harmonious relationships between themselves. This will alleviate the problem of low self-esteem and inferiority complex on pregnant teenagers in the classroom situation and the school premises.

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