The Rate Of Unwanted Pregnancy Among Teenagers And The Effects On Their Education

Sex Education Project and Seminar Material

The Rate Of Unwanted Pregnancy Among Teenagers And The Effects On Their Education


Recently, the increase of teenage pregnancy has been very high in Nigeria. The study therefore was to investigate the rate of unwanted pregnancy among teenagers and the effects on their education. A total sample size of sixty (60) respondents was used for the study. The research instruments such as questionnaires. interviews and observation were used to collect data for the study’.

The objectives of the study were to establish the relationship between teenage pregnancy and academic performance, the causes of teenage pregnancy and how to minimize teenage pregnancy.

With respect to findings on teenage pregnancy, it was that low socio-economic status such as poverty, mass media, peer influence and lack of access to teenage pregnancy among teenagers. And on the other hand, the recommended intervention measures were, access to contraception by student, comprehensive sex education are the major measures to teenage pregnancy.

The study therefore recommended that government and other partner should introduce comprehensive sex education curriculum in schools and promotes youth friendly reproductive health services in schools.

Chapter One


This chapter presents the background to the studv. statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions. and scope of the study, significance and assumptions of the study which focuses on the influence of teenage pregnancy on Education

1.1 Background of the Study

In recent decades’ teenage pregnancy has become an important health issue in a (great number of countries, both developed and developing).

However, pregnancy in adolescent (that is girls less than 20 years of age) is by no means a new phenomenon. according to UNICEF ( 2008) defines teenage pregnancy as a teenage girl usually within the ages of 13-19 becoming pregnant, therefore the term in everyday speech usually refers to girls who have not reached legal adult hood , which varies across the world who becomes pregnant . In large regions of the world for example Asia, middle East and North Africa, age of marriage has traditionally been low in kinship based societies and economies. (Panday et al, 2009). In such cases most girls married soon after menarche, fertility was high and consequently many children were born from adolescent mothers. This was not considered to be the problem. (Lam &Ranchod, 2008)

In contrast, in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, age at marriage was relatively high and socially controlled strongly, discourage premarital sex. If conception occurred this was usually followed by an early marriage therefore such social control by parents and family declined as economies developed and as education and training of young people was extended and undermined parental authority. In many western societies over the last century. the incidence of sexual intercourse among adolescence and the number of pregnancies sharply increased, especially after Second World War. In 1960s and 1970s both society at large and health authorities increasing viewed the (growing number of adolescence pregnancies as a problem. comparable developments took place in many developing countries ( for example sub — Saharan Africa and Latin America ) and in many of these countries there has been a gradual shift away from extended family structures and forwards nuclear families.(Marshal & Tanner , 2000).

With these changes in family structure and way of living, the role of members in the extended family in educating and acting as a role model for young people in sexual behaviours has disappeared ( Ojwang and Maggwa 2000)
Two key events during adolescence have strongly influenced these developments. The first one is the changing age at menarche — start of menstruation, with median age varying substantially among the population that is ranging from about 12 years in contemporary western world countries to more than 15 years in poor developing countries. Menarche, is often inversely correlated with socio — economic status and significant differences exist between rural and urban populations and between high and low income groups. (Marshal and Tanner. 2000)

The timing of menarche in a population is probably affected by a variety of environment. genetic and socio economic factors but mostly analysis consider nutritional status to be the dominant determinate (Bongaarts and Cohen. 2003).

The second key event influencing adolescence is schooling. Education leads to social and economic benefits for individual and in western countries, the prevalence of secondary schooling during adolescence has marked increased and in developing countries in the past four decades’ school attendance has also risen substantially. (UBE Report 2013)

One implication of these trends is that a larger population of the period of adolescent for boys and girls is spent in school (Bongaarts and Cohen 2003) such increased schooling has made adolescence, less dependent on parents and family and has postponed the age at marriage and thereby the age of socially sanctioned sexual relations.

According to the world health organization (WHO 2019),approximately 16 million girls become pregnant annually worldwide and of these 5.5 million are in sub Saharan Africa (Global giving , 2012, Were , 2007 )

Among the developed countries such as USA leads in the rates of teenage mothers where as Japan and South Korea are the least affected ( Lowen- ( 2012 ) in developing countries such as sub Saharan Africa has the highest numbers of teenage pregnancies ( Were 2007) and in Nigeria with the youngest population in the world with highest rates of teenage pregnancies at over 25% according to Nigeria demographic and health survey 2015 the population secretariat indicates that of the 1.2 million pregnancies recorded in Nigeria annually25% of these are teenage pregnancies therefore more than 300,000 teenagers who get pregnant also account for the bulk of unwanted pregnancies which end up in un intended birth and abortions . This state of affairs has not spared either the school goers or the non-school goers. Needless to say the effect spill over onto their health. economic and social status. accord in a to the Nigeria demographic health survey ( NDI-IS 201 1 ) about 14% of young women and 16% of young men had their first sexual encounter before the age of 15 years while 57% of young women had their first sexual encounter before the age of 1 8 years.

Early marriage, early initiation of sex and lack of information are said to be the leading drivers of adolescent pregnancy. According to the United Nations population fund (UNFPA) lack of access to reproductive health information supported with services has led teenagers into early sex while poverty and cultural practices continues to force girls into early marriage and teenage pregnancy.

Globally education is recognized as a basic right, Article 26 of the international convention asserts that everyone has the right to education and that education should be free at least in elementary and fundamental stages of schooling (Human riffhts charter, 1948). education forms the basis upon which economic , social and political development of any nation is founded and investing in education can help to foster economic growth , enhance productivity contributes to national and social development thereby reducing social inequality ( World Bank 201 1 ) reported gender disparities in education in the developing world is as a result of teenage pregnancy which has contributed to school drop outs among the girls and poor acadelïlic performance therefore creating the fewer opportunities for (‘irls to complete their education and socio economic advancement in the region. (World Bank 201 1)

For the purpose of this study, teenage pregnancy was conceptualized mean females under the age of 18 years (WHO 2014). A female can become pregnant from sexual intercourse after she has begun to ovulate, which can be before her menstrual period but usually Occurs after the onset of her periods. In well-nourished females, menarche usually takes place around the age of 12 or 13 years. (WHO 2014) pregnant teenagers face many of the same pregnancy-related issues as other women. There are however, additional concerns for those under 15 years of age as they are less likely to be physically developed enough to sustain a healthy pregnancy or to give birth (Mayor. S. 2014).
For girls aged 12 -18 risks are associated more with socio-economic factors that with biological effects of age. Risks of low birth weight. premature labour is connected to the biological age, being observed in teen birth even after controlling other risk factors such as assessing parental care (Klu BK &Loto 2004). 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 healthcare to cause medical problems. When used in combination, educational interventions and promotion of birth control can reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies (Anne & John. E: 20 1 6)

In developing countries 7.3 million females under age of 1 8 give birth per year. If all pregnancies are included is much higher (UNFPA, 201 1).

Academic performance was conceptualized on the marks scored, grades, class attendance and divisions obtained by the students with respect to the examination standard board of Nigeria such as UNEB (Nigeria Examination Board).
Academic performance is the extent to which a student. teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. Completion of education represents academic achievement. This is commonly measure through examination or agreement on how it is best evaluated or which aspects are most important. Procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts. (Murray 2007). Furthermore, there are conclusive results over which individual factors successfully predicts academic performance elements such as test anxiety, environment. motivation and emotions require consideration when developing models of school achievement (Dianne. M. 2007).
Based on this study, the researcher is focusing on the relationship between teenage pregnancy and academic performance setting; self-control is related to self-discipline, self-regulation, delay of gratification and impulse control (Baumeister. 2007). Self-control has the capacity for alerting one’s own responses, especially to bring them into line with standards such as ideals. values. Morals and social expectations and to support the attainment of long-term goals (Roy. F & Tice,2007)

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Teenage pregnancy has a direct implication on Education among girls and subsequent contributor to the disparities experienced in education of both girls and boys. Many young girls perform poorly at school as a result of pregnancy that leads to school dropout.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is one of the countries with the youngest population in the world with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy at over 25%. However, there have been issues with regards to teenage pregnancy at its subsequent influence on academic performance; the literature available is really not able to give clear statistics, instead on the relationship between school exit and subsequent child-bearing. This is because there is no data on the number of girls who get pregnant while in school. (Cynthia and Mensch (2006). The wide spread perception is that girls who become pregnant are more likely to drop out and their academic performance drops below the average and enter premature marriage or become a head of the household by relying on mere assistance from her family and child’s father which therefore leaves them in poverty deprivation and poor living conditions.

Based on the statistics of teenage pregnancy in Nigeria which is at a high rate of over 25%; shows that Bende, Abia is one of the places in Eastern region experiencing teenage pregnancy as a result of low social economic status such as poverty which has been considered to be the major pushed factor other than other factors which made teenagers vulnerable and hence engage into early sexual relationships for money and food. The researcher was establishing the relationship between teenage pregnancy and Education, possible causes of teenage pregnancy and how these incidences can be minimize based on the views and ideas of the respondents.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to investigate the rate of unwanted pregnancy among teenagers and the effects on their education.

1.4 Objectives of the Study

  1. To establish the relationship between teenage pregnancy and Education.
  2. To identify the causes of teenage pregnancy
  3. To establish measures that can be taken to minimize teenage pregnancy.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. What are the causes of teenage pregnancy?
  2. Does teenage pregnancy affect Education?
  3. What are the necessary measures that must be taken to minimize teenage pregnancy?

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study will focus on teenage pregnancy Education among selected schools in Abia. This study was carried out in Bende in Abia State which is located in Eastern Nigeria.

1.7 Significance of the Study

The use of any research study is to improve the area of immediate concern of study and society at large, therefore the researcher, hope that the result of this study will help to achieve the following:

  1. The study will help provide information to schools concerning various methods that can be used to prevent and reduce teenage pregnancy.
  2. The study will help policy makers and planners to identify approaches and strategies that can be adopted in preventing and reducing the occurrence of teenage pregnancy through designing programmes for teenager and know necessary factors to take into consideration when formulating and implementing policies.
  3. The study will help parents and teenagers to clearly understand the adverse effects of teenage pregnancy with all its implications.

1.7. Organization of the Study

This paper is arranged in a way which sequentially answers the questions raised under the introductory part. Thus there would be five chapters in which Chapter One deals with introductory aspects namely, background of the study area, Objectives of the study Statement of the problem, Significance of the study, scope of the study and limitations throughout this paper. Chapter two would be dedicated to the review of related literature consisting scientific review and empirical review. Chapter three covers the methods used during data collection and data analysis. Chapter four includes finding and discussion part of the study. The last chapter incorporated the conclusion and recommendation part of the research.

1.8 Definition of Terms


Pregnancy is the term used to describe the period in which a foetus develops inside a woman’s womb or uterus. Pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks, or just over 9 months, as measured from the last menstrual period to delivery.


Denoting a person between 13 and 19 years old


The process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion & Recommendations

5.1 Summary of the Findings

The purpose of this research was to investigate the rate of unwanted pregnancy among teenagers and the effects on their education. This section covers the discussion of the major findings revealed by the study based on the study objectives, to establish the relationship between teenage pregnancy and Education, to identify the causes of teenage pregnancy and finally to establish the measures to minimize teenage pregnancy. The findings of the study were as indicate below•

Objective one: relationship between teenage pregnancy and Education

The findings indicated a positive and significant relationship between teenage pregnancy and Education. 20 (40%) of the respondents agreed that school dropout affects academic performance, followed by 15 (30%) of the respondents agree with absenteeism which impacts on performance. This implies that teenage pregnancy influences academic performance.

Objective two: to identify the causes of teenage pregnancy

The results reveals that majority of the respondents 13 (26%) of the respondents agree that economic situation contributes of teenage pregnancy. followed by 10 (20%) of the respondents mass media is also a major contributor. peer pressure. lack of sex education, lack of access to contraception, poor parenting and early menarche and other causes of teenage pregnancy cited by the respondents.

Objective three: to establish the measures of teenage pregnancy

The results reveal that both sex education and contraception are the major measures to minimize teenage pregnancy, sex education accounted for the highest percentage of the respondents, 25 (50%) is in agreement, followed by contraception use accounted for 15 (30%) of the respondents agree to be more effective and lastly abstinence accounted for 1 0 (20%) in agreement to minim ize teenage pregnancy.

5.2 Conclusion

The study targeted 50 respondents, 40 (80%) were females and 10 (20%) were males. Second, 43 (86%) were single, 7 (14%) were married. Thirdly, 30 (60%) of the respondents were of “O’ Level, 10 (20%) were “A” Level, 8 (16%) were of degree and diploma and finally 2 (4%) were PLE. The result show that school dropout is ha main relationship between teenage pregnancy and academic performance, economic situation has been identified as the main cause of teenage pregnancy followed by mass media and lastly sex education is the main measure to minimize teenage pregnancy followed by use of contraceptives and abstinence. Also vulnerability of the young people in the study findings have been considered to be economic hardship that can force young girls into relationships leading to early pregnancies.

5.3 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study.

There is need to create partnerships through policy between public health services and schools so as to foster good use of youth friendly reproductive health services for those who are sexually active.

On plugging the reproductive health information gap. the study recommends that government should introduce comprehensive sex education curriculum in schools in order to address the early pregnancies.

Teenagers should be enlightened about the consequences of engage in sex at an early stage of their lives and parents should stand at their best to meet the needs of the teenagers.

Teenage programmes should be tailored to the needs of individual communities and include health promotion information and advice on risk behaviours.

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