Factors That Are Responsible For Pregnancy Amongst Secondary School Students

Medical and Health Science Project and Seminar Material

Factors That Are Responsible For Pregnancy Amongst Secondary School Students


Abstract


Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the highest levels of teenage pregnancies in the world. In spite of that, there is paucity of research on causes of teenage pregnancies in African countries. Teenage pregnancies and the eventual dropping out of school has been and still is a major problem bedeviling the education sectorin many parts of developing countries. This study investigated the influence of cultural factors, economic factors, peer group pressure and social media on teenage pregnancies among secondary school students in Command secondary school. The study employed descriptive survey research design. The sample size was of 359 (n=359) students and 9 (n=9) teachers from the school were selected to participate in the study. Stratified sampling and random sampling were used to pick the respondents. Questionnaires were used to collect data from teachers and the students while an interview guide was used to collect data from education officers in the local government. Data was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively using SPSS version 21.0. With regard to cultural factors and teenage pregnancy and specifically concerning the teachers, the study established that cultural background hindered the teachers from effectively teaching sex education. The study established that most parent /parents taking their children to the school are into business. The study also deduced that electronic media influences teenagers to have sex at an early age and those students are pressurized to have sex by their friends. This study recommends that efforts on educating people regarding teenage pregnancy should be focused on areas experiencing high levels of poverty.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Teenage pregnancy has been existing in the society for long, hence is not a new issue. The incidence of child pregnancy cut across all ethnic groups in the country and abroad. Presently it’s social, economic, health, spiritual effect on the teenagers, the family and the society at large is a thing that calls for concern. These days, teenagers do not consider being pregnant at an early age without marriage an irresponsible act, they rather look at it from the angle that one condition or the other might have lead one to such act. This at times make some of them victims for more than a time before putting a stop to it or even continue till adult stage.

A teen is one between the ages of 13 – 19 years. The teenager year is a time of rapid growth and development, which Kay (2004) describes as adolescent (a period between childhood and adulthood). This is a time where the teenagers fight or search for themselves, their future, the answers to what do I want to be? Where do I start from? And what do I want to do?

Teenage pregnancy could be referred to as “baby having a baby”. This implies any pregnancy occurring in girls below the ages of 18 can be easily classified to as teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in human females under the age of 20 at the time that the pregnancy ends. A pregnancy can take place in a pubertal female before menarche (the first menstrual period), which signals the possibility of fertility but usually occurs after menarche. In well-nourished girls, menarche usually takes place around the age of 12 or 13. Pregnant teenagers face many of the same obstetrics issues as other women. There are, however, additional medical concerns for mothers aged under 15. For mothers aged 15–19, risks are associated more with socio-economic factors than with the biological effects of age. However, research has shown risks of low birth weight, premature labour, anemia, and pre-eclampsia are connected to the biological age itself, as it was observed in teen births even after controlling for other risk factors (Such as utilization of antenatal care etc).

In developed countries, teenage pregnancies are often associated with social issues, including lower educational levels, higher rates of poverty, and other poorer life outcomes in children of teenage mothers. Teenage pregnancy in developed countries is usually outside of marriage, and carries a social stigma in many communities and cultures. By contrast, teenage parents in developing countries are often married, and their pregnancies welcomed by family and society. However, in these societies, early pregnancy may combine with malnutrition and poor health care to cause medical problems.


1.2 Statement of Problem

With the increase in mass education about family planning and sex education on radios (made available local language by organizations such as society for family health and distribution of condoms and family planning method), there is a high rate of teenage pregnancy and this leads to the question: “What are the factors responsible for teenage pregnancy among secondary school students and its effect on their academic achievement?

Early motherhood can affect the psychosocial development of the infant. The children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely with a low birth weight, predisposing them to many other lifelong conditions. Children of teen mothers are at higher risk of intellectual, language, and socio-emotional delays. Developmental disabilities and behavioral issues are increased in children born to teen mothers. One study suggested that adolescent mothers are less likely to stimulate their infant through affectionate behaviors such as touch, smiling, and verbal communication, or to be sensitive and accepting toward his or her needs. Poor academic performance in the children of teenage mothers has also been noted, with many of them being more likely than average to fail to graduate from secondary school, be held back a grade level or score lower on standardized tests. Daughters born to adolescent parents are more likely to become teen mothers themselves.

The high rate note of teenage pregnancy and the health risks associated with it such as prolonged labour, vesico vagina fistula (V.V.F), perineal tear, premature labour and pre-eclampsia are a threat to the life and well-being of the mothers. This had made it necessary to carry out this study in Command Secondary school, Kaduna. It is also significant at finding its consequences on the teenagers and the possible remedy in order to reduce the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To establish the influence of cultural factors on teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna.
  2. To determine the influence of economic factors on teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna
  3. To determine the influence of electronic media on teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna;
  4. To establish the influence of peer groups on teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How do cultural factors influence teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna?
  2. To what extent do economic factors influence teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna?
  3. To what extent do electronic media influence teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna?
  4. How do peer groups contribute to teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Community, parents, society and government will be made to understand the implications and consequences of teenage pregnancy among the secondary school students within the study area.

The result of this study may also bring awareness to the teachers and community at large on the factors responsible for teenage pregnancy thereby help in reducing its prevalence.


1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This research is carried out in Command Secondary school Kaduna. The research could have achieved more, using the whole population for the study to obtain better accuracy of data but due to time and financial constraints, a small number of population that comprise fifty (50) respondents will be used to represent the whole population.


1.7 Organization of the study

This study is organized into five chapters.

  • Chapter one is introduction covering; background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study which explained what the study intended to accomplish, research objectives and research question, significance of the study. The significance of the study justifies the reason for my study. This chapter also highlights delimitation and limitation of the study, and assumptions of the study.
  • Chapter two reviews literature of the study. This chapter brings out what previous researchers have found out in the area of study. This chapter covers how various independent variables; cultural factors, economic factors, peer group pressure and social media influence teenage pregnancy levels from a global point of view narrowing down to the local level. It also covered theoretical and conceptual frameworks.
  • Chapter three was Research methodology covering; research design, target population, sampling procedure which discussed in detail how the sample for this study was selected. It also covered methods of data collection, validity and reliability of data collection instruments. It also captured the study’s data was analyzed.
  • Chapter four covers data analysis, presentation and interpretation of findings, based on background information and on four variables under study which include; cultural factors, economic factors, peer group pressure and social media.
  • Chapter five covers discussions of the findings, conclusions and recommendations.

Chapter Five


Discussions, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Discussion of Findings

The study sought to investigate factors that are responsible for pregnancy among students in secondary schools in Command secondary school Kaduna.

Cultural Factors and Teenage Pregnancy

With regard to cultural factors and teenage pregnancy and specifically concerning the teachers, the study established that cultural background hindered the teachers from effectively teaching sex education. As well, the study established that parents taking their children to the school did not talk to them about sex and that parents do not support the return to school of teenage pregnant girls. The study further established that the kinds of job parents do significantly influence chances of their girls becoming teenage mothers and that the level of education of parents does not lead to teenage pregnancy to a very a great extent.

Concerning the students, the study established that most students parents were married and do not talk to them about sex because they deem the students as not old enough. Further, it was established that students would like their parents to talk to them about sex and also that more students would like their mothers to talk to them about sex than those that would love their fathers. As well, the study established that parental communication about sex reduces chances of their children becoming pregnant/ fathering a child. Further, the study established that boys should not be allowed to have sex at whatever age even if they risk impregnating girls. The study established that early marriage leads to teenage pregnancy among their peers and that girls be held solely responsible in the event of pregnancy.

Economic Factors and Teenage Pregnancy

On this issue and with regard to teachers, the study established that most parent /parents taking their children to the school are into business. The study further established that the level of education of parents influences teenage pregnancy. The study further established that the kinds of job parents do significantly influence chances of their girls becoming teenage mothers. The study also found out that girls from poor families are at higher risk of becoming pregnant than girls from rich families and girls from poor families have an opportunity of going back to school even after dropping out due to pregnancy.

Electronic Media and Teenage Pregnancy

On this issue and with regard to teachers, the study established that electronic media influences teenagers to have sex at an early age. Further, the study established that students in the school report have been solicited for sex. Also, the study established that students listen to sexually explicit music on their mobile phones 3 times a week. As well, the study established that students were sex-texting in class 2 times a week. The study found out that the topics they think their students discuss on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp) include gossip /stories about people at school or in the community, love life and/ or dating and explicit music, movies and celebrities.

The study found out that electronic media influences teenagers to have sex at an early age. The study also found out that the influence of electronic media on teenage sex should be taught in secondary schools. Also, the study revealed that the influence of electronic media on teenage sex should be taught in secondary schools. Further, the study established that students listen to sexually explicit music on their mobile phones 3 times a week and sext in class 2 times a week. Further, the study found out that the topics that their students discuss on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp) are love life and/ or dating.

The study established that teachers’ limited technological savvy hinders their ability to control students’ access to explicit content on social media. Further, the study established that students only use the internet as a good educational research tool; teachers’ control of their students access to social networking sites, the internet reduces chances of sexual relationships among students and teenage pregnancy. The study further established that parental control ontheir children’s access to social networking sites and the internet reduces chances of sexual relationships among teenagers and teenage pregnancy.

Peer Pressure and Teenage Pregnancy

On this issue and with regard to the teachers, the study established that students are pressurized to have sex by their friends. Further, the study found that peer groups pressure influence lead to teenage pregnancy and that girls in their school report peer pressure as a cause of pregnancy. Further, the study established that peer pressure as a cause of teenage pregnancy is not well taught in schools in Kaduna. Additionally, the study established that parental communication on peer group pressure could reduce chances of teenage pregnancy in Kaduna. Further, the study established that peer group pressure as a component of sex education does reduce chances of teenage pregnancy. Furthermore, the study found out that alcohol and drugs influence put girls in secondary schools in Kaduna at greater risk of becoming pregnant than peer group pressure. The study further established that teenage pregnancy is a major cause of school dropout. According to Black (2002), peer groups provide a forum where teens construct and reconstruct their identities as evidenced by the findings above.

Concerning the students, the study established that the students were less 13 years old during their first encounter. It was also established that pressure from friends made the students engage in their first sexual intercourse. In an agreeing study in the U.S, The Kaiser Family Foundation (1998) found that 13% of young men between 13 to 18 years cited pressure from their friends compared to 7% of young women and 8% of young women and 1% of young men cited pressure from a partner as a factor contributing to why they had sex for the first time. During adolescence, teenagers often feel pressure to make friends and fit in with their peers. Many times these teens let their friends influence their decision to have sex even when they do not fully understand the consequences associated with the act. Teenagers have sex as a way to appear cool and sophisticated, but in some cases the end result is an unplanned teen pregnancy.


5.2 Conclusion

From the findings, the study concludes that cultural factors influence teenage pregnancy in secondary schools Command secondary school Kaduna. The study found that parental communication about sex reduces chances of the girls becoming pregnant. The study further deduced that early marriage leads to teenage pregnancy among their peers and that girls be held solely responsible in the event of pregnancy.

The study further concludes that economic factors influence teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna. The study deduced that parents taking their children to the school are into business. Further, the study concludes that the level of education of parents, kinds of jobparents do influences teenage pregnancy. Moreover, the study deduced that girls from poor families are at higher risk of becoming pregnant than girls from rich families.

The study further concludes that electronic media influences influence teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna as it influences teenagers to have sex at an early age. Also, the study concludes that the influence of electronic media on teenage sex should be taught in secondary schools. Furthermore, the study concludes that teachers’ limited technological savvy hinders their ability to control students’ access to explicit content on social media.

The study finally concludes that peer groups influence teenage pregnancy in Command secondary school Kaduna. It was clear that the students are pressurized to have sex by their friends which lead to teenage pregnancy. Further, the study deduced that peer pressure as a cause of teenage pregnancy is not well taught in schools in Kaduna. Additionally, the study found that parental communication on peer group pressure could reduce chances of teenage pregnancy in Kaduna. However, peer group pressure as a component of sex education does reduce chances of teenage pregnancy.


5.3 Recommendations

The study established that parents taking their children to the school did not talk to them about sex and that parents do not support the return to school of teenage pregnant girls. This study therefore recommends that parents should take the initiative of talking to their children about sex. The government with the help of NGOs should also ensure that they, the parents are well educated on the how and when to talk about sex with their children.

The study also found out that girls from poor families are at higher risk of becoming pregnant than girls from rich families. Therefore, this study recommends that efforts on educating people regarding teenage pregnancy should be focused on areas that are poor. Such are the areas that most resources should be focused on. This will ensure that the problem is well tackled straight from their source or rather where they are in high concentration.

The study established that students listen to sexually explicit music on their mobile phones 3 times a week. As well, the study established that students’ sex-texting in class 2 times a week. Therefore, the ministry of education should ensure that there is an existing policy on students listening to music. This should be held strictly because students listening time should be reduced to effectively reduce effect such music has on their behavior.

The study established that parental communication on peer group pressure could reduce chances of teenage pregnancy. Therefore, the study recommends that parents be encouraged to communicate with their children on peer pressure and its negative consequences. Communication should start right at home. This should be well communicated and campaigned for the parents to be fully aware. Only then will the whole process of educating parents and ensuring that they play their role, bear significant fruits.


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