Perception of Women about Teenage Pregnancy

Perception of Women about Teenage Pregnancy in Amichi Community Nnewi South Local Government Area, Anambra State



Background of the Study

Adolescent pregnancy is a major contributor to maternal and child mortality and to the viscous cycle of ill-health and poverty. The global strategy for women and children health launched by the United Nations secretary General in 2010, stressed the importance of addressing the health and welfare of adolescents girls in order to achieve the fifth (5th) millennium developmental goal on maternal mortality reduction.

According to Cater, Felice and Rosoff (2005), adolescent period is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. Adolescence is a distinct and important biological and social stage of development which starts with puberty. Pregnancy occurring in a girl aged between 10-19 years is termed adolescent or teenage pregnancy whether married or unmarried. Adolescent pregnancy continue to be a complex and challenging issues for families, health workers, educators, government, societies and adolescents themselves.

One of the important factors for the rapid population growth in the world is adolescent child bearing. World Health organization (2011) remarks that early child bearing is a high health risk for both mother and child and should be discouraged for limitation of fertility and other social reasons.

Guttmacher (2006), stated that United States has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy as three (3) in ten (10) teenage girls in the United States get pregnancy at least once before age twenty (20). That is more than 700,000 teenage pregnancies each year. About 16 million girls aged 15-19 years and two million girls under 15 has given birth every year world Wide, as one in five has given birth by the age of 18. In the poorest regions of the world, this figure rises to over one in three girls as almost all adolescent births about 95% occur in low and middle income countries and are among poor, less educated and rural populations (National Centre for Health Statistics, 2004).

Hoffman (2008) was of opinion that pregnancy during adolescence is a multi-ethnic sociologic problem that cuts across all socioeconomic, ethnic, cultural and geographical boundaries and it is now on the increase as teenage mothers are at higher medical risk of child bearing: obstetric risk such as obstructed labour, there are faced with problems of education as they are expelled from school and they become drop outs, financially, they lack support, socially, there are seen as deviants which leads them staying alone and keeping away from friends, relatives and admires especially when they are not married and their children are also at greater risk of lower intellectual and academic achievement, they face health complications such as low birth weight, injuries, childhood illness, mental and physical disabilities, they also have social behavior problems than those of older mothers.

According to Baral (2004), Teenage pregnancy can be prevented by delaying the initiation of sexual activities and early marriages, with the use of effective contraception, creating awareness through abstinence education program and sex education.

Jewekes (2005) stated that most parents frown at their daughters when they get pregnant at adolescent age outside marriage, they worry about their future and feel guilty and embarrassed for not being able to protect them, they feel uncertain on how to face the condition, therefore fail to offer them support while some mothers encourage them on abortion. In the other hand, some parents feel happy over the news of addition to the family. This is due to diversity in culture.

Statement of Problem

Teenage pregnancy rate of occurrence has been on the increase as about 16 million girls aged 15-19 years and two million girls under 15 years give birth every year worldwide. Teenage pregnancy is a major problem that has economic, educational and health implications all across the society, as the teenagers who get pregnant and they have many educational problem, very few of these teenagers obtained diploma certificate, it has caused a lot of havoc to female teenagers like feto- maternal morbidity and mortality, other health problems like vesico-vaginal fistula, endometritis, they become school dropout.. Lack of support and care for children born teenage mothers has led to high rate of nussiance, drug addicts and other social deviants in our society.

In Amichi, the case is not different as record obtained from its health centre alone revealed that about 24 unmarried teenagers between 14 and 19 years were delivered of babies between October and December 2013. Parents and the community at large were worried over the problems of teenage pregnancy.

Based on this, the researcher became curious and decided to embark on the study to find out determinants of teenage pregnancy as perceived by women towards unmarried pregnant teenagers, the actions they take when the unmarried teenage girl becomes pregnant.

Purpose of the Study

The study is aimed at determining the perception of teenage pregnancy by women of Amichi in Nnewi South Local Government Area in Anambra State.

Specific Objectives

The Specific Objectives are:

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are:

  1. To identify the perceived causes of teenage pregnancy in Amichi Community.
  2. To determine the perceived consequences of teenage pregnancy on the teenagers and its general effect in Amichi community.
  3. To find out the attitude of women towards teenage pregnancy.
  4. To determine the actions women take or suggest when a teenage girl becomes pregnant.

Significance of the Study

The findings from this study will be of benefit to parents, teenagers, the community, coordinators of reproductive health and other health workers, students and other researchers.

  1. The content of this study will help the teenagers to realize the causes, consequences of teenage pregnancy, change their attitude towards premarital sex.
  2. -The study will help elders, parents, teachers to embrace the need for sex education at home and in school and parents will be informed on the situation that will motivate them to take appropriate action and enlighten them to know that pregnancy does not end up their teenage girl’s inspiration.
  3. The study will help the community, government and non-governmental agencies to initiate and strengthen effort on provision of reproductive health information and services to adolescents thereby reducing material mortality and morbidity and achieving the fifth millennium developmental goal.

Finally, this study will serve as a basis and also a guide for further studies and its findings will add to the existing body of knowledge in this area.

Research Questions

  1. What are the women’s perception on the causes of teenage pregnancy?
  2. What are the perceived consequencies of teenage pregnancy among teenagers on the entire Amichi Community?
  3. What are the attitude of women towards teenage pregnancy in Amichi Community?
  4. What are women’s action when an unmarried teenager becomes pregnant?

Scope of Study

The study intends to determine the perception of teenage pregnancy by women of Amichi in Nnewi South Local Government Area. Their perception as regards the causes, attitudes towards teenage pregnancy. Actions women take or recommend when teenage girls become pregnant as well as the action of women who had experienced teenage pregnancy in their family. The subjects of this study are made up of married women aged 25 to 60 years.

 Research Questions

What are the women’s perception on the causes if teenage pregnancy to Amichi Community?

  1. What are women’s perception on the consequences of teenage pregnancy among teenagers and the entire Amichi Community?
  2. What are the attitude of women towards teenage pregnancy?
  3. What are women’s action/perception when an unmarried teenage girl becomes pregnant?

 Operational Definition

Teenage: This is a period in life between the ages of 10-19 years.

Teenage Pregnancy: Refers to pregnancy that occurs between the ages of 10-19 years married or unmarried

Adolescence: Is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood

Attitude: Refers to a way of thinking about something or somebody

Perception: Refers to how an individual understand a concept or an idea

—This article is incomplete———–This article is incomplete———— It was extracted from a well articulated quality Project, Research Work/Material

Project Topic:

Perception of Women about Teenage Pregnancy in Amichi Community Nnewi South Local Government Area, Anambra State

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