ATTITUDE AND PERCEPTION OF TEENAGE MOTHERS REGARDING TEENAGE PREGNANCY
1.1 Background of the study
Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy, occurs when a girl under the age of 20 becomes pregnant.Pregnancy may occur after the commencement of ovulation, which may occur before the first menstrual period (menarche) but is more common after the commencement of periods. The first period normally occurs around the age of 12 or 13 in well-nourished females (WHO 2018).
Teenagers who are pregnant suffer many of the same pregnancy-related challenges as other women. There are extra issues for children under the age of 15, since they are less likely to be physically matured to support a successful pregnancy or deliver birth. Risks for females aged 15–19 are connected with socioeconomic variables rather than biological impacts of age. The risks of low birth weight, early labor, anemia, and pre-eclampsia are linked to biological age, since they are seen in adolescent deliveries even when other risk factors, such as access to prenatal care.
Teenage pregnancies are linked to societal factors such as poor educational attainment and poverty.Teenage pregnancy is a typical occurrence all around the world. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, over sixteen million teenagers aged 15 to 19 give birth each year, with the majority of these births taking place in developing countries (World Health Organization, 2018). The tendency seems to be accelerating. In Sierra Leone, where early marriage is encouraged by custom, teen pregnancy accounted for 40% of maternal mortality. According to some writers, a teenage pregnancy happens when a young girl is between the ages of 13 and 19 years old and her reproductive organs and system are not completely formed.
This issue is defined as a societal dilemma in which adult behaviors and activities such as sexual intercourse, procreation, and mothering are performed by a person who is not yet an adult due to her age and developmental state. Teenage pregnancy is a public health issue that has been recognized as a concern for youth, families, and society as a whole. It is a serious modern socioeconomic challenge that all nations throughout the globe are dealing with. Teenage pregnancy is receiving more attention in both developed and underdeveloped nations. This is due to the young age at which teenagers engage in sexual activity as a consequence of an unwanted pregnancy and the potential problems (Doris O., Ekpoanwan E.& David A.2015).
Such pregnancies endanger both the mother and the child. Prematurity, low birth weight, and birth traumas are all risks for newborns. Morbidities such as obstructed labor, obstetric fistula, and eclampsia may occur in the mother. Furthermore, early parenthood leaves teenagers with little knowledge, education, and communication about reproductive health issues. Dropping out of school, social discrimination, and stigmatization are some of the social and psychological issues connected with adolescent pregnancy. The pregnant adolescent may feel despondent and, as a result, suicidal (Doris O., Ekpoanwan E.& David A.2015). Many variables have been linked to the prevalence of adolescent pregnancy. Poor parental supervision as a consequence of broken households and insufficient or non-existence of contraception; exposure to pornographic films and a lack of sex education are examples. Therefore it is upon this premise that this study is set to examine the Attitude And Perception Of Teenage Mothers Regarding Teenage Pregnancy.
1.2 Statement of problem
Health and social problems are associated with teenage pregnancy. To avert these, strategies previously mentioned were resolved by the WHO (2014) aimed at improving the reproductive health of young people including adolescents. Consequent on these strategies, interventions by public and private organizations have been undertaken to reduce the problem. Despite these interventions which include access to reproductive health services, it is observed globally that teenage pregnancy still remains a public health problem (Coster, D., (2015)).
In Nigeria, statistics from the National Population Commission (NPC) shows that the proportion of teenage pregnancy has remained at 23% between 2008 and 2013 (NPC & ICF, 2013; NPC & ICF, 2009). Although in Nigeria, the highest proportions are found in the North Western (36%) and North Eastern (34%) parts of the country, in the south with relatively lower proportion, the rate of teenage pregnancy is highest in Cross River State (17%) as compared with other southern states in the southern geopolitical zone (NPC & ICF, 2013). It was further documented that the rate of teenage pregnancy is about 32% in the rural areas and 10% in the urban areas. This study setting is a rural community and many teenage girls are already mothers. In view of their roles, parents are expected to be actively involved in the process of prevention of teenage pregnancy through supervision and counselling of their children/wards. Although the news of teenage daughter’s pregnancy is unpleasant to parents. Some authors found that mothers described their feelings resulting from the discovery of the pregnancy of their adolescent daughters as devastating. The news was difficult to believe, welcome or accept. To the best of our knowledge, the perspectives of parents on teenage pregnancy in the study area have not been explored. Based on these gaps, the researchers decided to study the perception and attitudes of parents towards teenage pregnancy.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main focus of this study is to examine the perception and attitudes towards teenage pregnancy. Specifically it seek
1. To examine the causes of unwanted pregnancy among teenage girls
2. To examine the effect of unwanted pregnancy on teenage girls
3. To examine if parents perception towards unwanted pregnancy is negative?
4. To proffer solutions on how to reduce unwanted pregnancy among teenage girls
1.4 Research questions
The research is guided by the following question
1. What are the causes of unwanted pregnancy among teenage girls?
2. What are the effect of unwanted pregnancy on teenage girls?
3. Does parents perception towards unwanted pregnancy is negative?
4. What are the solutions on how to reduce unwanted pregnancy among teenage girls
1.5. Significance of the study
The study will be significance to parents, counsellor and adolescents. To Parents, the study will enlighten them on the need to improve parenting style and create a cordial relationship between them and their teenage girls have pep talks on sexual education. To school counsellors and teachers, the study will enable them to gather the girl students and educate them about premarital sex and the consequences of unwanted pregnancy as this will help reduce its occurrences. The study also will add to the body of literature in this area, serve as reference material for student and researchers in this field while providing opportunity for further studies in this area.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on parents perception about unwanted pregnancy among teenage girls. The study is delimited to Delta State in South-South region of Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The study encountered various militating factors which posed as a limitation such as:
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview). Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.