TEENAGE PREGNANCY PATTERNS AND ASSOCIATED FACTORS IN IGBO-ETITI LGA OF ENUGU STATE

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ABSTRACT
The study was primarily designed to identify teenage pregnancy patterns and associated factors in Igbo-Etiti LGA of Enugu State. In order to achieve this, the survey research design was used to accomplish this. The sample for the study consisted of 146 teenage girls identified within and outside secondary schools in Igbo-Etiti LGA. Four research questions were posed and three null hypotheses were postulated to guide the study. The instrument for data collection was a 22-item questionnaire titled ‘Questionnaires on Teenage Pregnancy Patterns and Associated Factors’ (QTPPAF).
For reaching valid conclusions, data from 144 respondents out of 146 respondents that duly completed the questionnaires were analyzed using percentages, frequency counts and Chi-square statistics. The hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance. At the completion of the study, the following results were obtained:

(1)    Teenage pregnancy according to time (temporal pattern) in Igbo-Etiti LGA is not equal. This means that the pattern over the period of study 2001-2007 varied. The highest rates of teen pregnancy in Igbo-Etiti LGA occurred in 2003 and 2005 with the lowest rate occurring in 2007.
(2)    Teenage pregnancy according to space (spatial pattern) is equal. This means that there was an insignificant difference in the rate of teenage pregnancy between teenagers who attended mixed schools and those who attended girls’ only schools. Occurrence of teenage pregnancy according to the type of school attended is insignificant.

(3)    (a) Teenage pregnancy according to demographic variations (age, educational level and religious denomination) indicated that teenagers between the age ranges of 16-19 years tended to have higher pregnancy rates than those under the age ranges of 13-15 years.
(b) The study also indicated that the number of teenagers who have dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancy were higher when compared with those who are still schooling.


(c)     The study equally revealed that rates of pregnancies were higher in Catholics and Anglicans as against Pentecostals.

(4)                 The non demographic factors found to be associated with teenage pregnancies include; ignorance of safe and unsafe period of sex (39.58 %), peer group influence (26.39%), strong sexual urge (26.39%), early maturity (23.61% ), poverty (22.22), absence of sex education in schools (20.16%) (See table 6).

Based on the findings of the present study, the following recommendations

were  made:

(1)    Since many of the adolescent girls dropped out of school because of teenage pregnancy, policies should be made to accommodate teenager who are still interested in continuing their educational pursuit after having their babies to do so.
(2)    Skills acquisition centres should be established in every LGA to help adolescents who cannot complete formal education to acquire skills that will make them independent.

(3)    Since many of the adolescents indicated ignorance of safe and unsafe period of sex as a factor in teenage pregnancy, programmes aimed at educating youths on sex and sexuality education should be introduced in to the school curricula. More counselors should be employed in schools to take care of this aspect of the curricula.

(4)    The teaching of sex and sexual education should be made compulsory in all schools to help adolescents understand their physiological makeup.
(5)    Religious leaders should tackle the problem of teenage unwanted pregnancies through moral instructions in churches.

Parents should be educated through seminars on the importance of discussing sex and sexuality with their children especially the females.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Table of Contents
List of Table
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction
Background of the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Research Questions
Hypotheses
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study

CHAPTER TWO: Review of Related Literature
Conceptual Framework
Theoretical Framework
Factors Associated with Teenage Pregnancies
Family factors
Influence of mass media
Religious belief
Ignorance/lack of information
Financial/Economic factors
Empirical Studies on Teenage Pregnancies
Summary of Literature Review

CHAPTER THREE: Methods
Research Design
Population for the Study
Sample and Sampling Technique
Instrument for Data Collection
Validation of the Instrument
Reliability of the Instrument
Method of Data Collection
Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: Results and Discussion
Summary of Major findings
Discussion of findings

CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
Summary
Conclusion
Recommendations
References
Appendices

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Background to the Study
The issue of pregnancies among teenage girls seems to be one of the social problems facing not only Nigeria, but also several other nations of the world. Surveys by investigators such as Briggs (2001), Gyepi-Garbrah (1985), Onuzulike (2003) and others revealed that teenagers become sexually active at an early age with corresponding high fertility. Teenage sexual activities in Nigeria also tend to be on the increase (Nwosu, 2005, Okafor, 1997). A major consequence of these increase sexual activities among teenagers is out of wedlock pregnancies that may result in abortion, childbirth or even death.
Teenage is often used interchangeably with adolescence. World Health Organization – WHO (1997) opined that, it is the period between 10 and 19 years when the secondary sex characteristics appear. Turner and Helms (1993) reported that the teen years fall between the ages of 13 and 19 years. Views and opinions vary among authors and researchers on the specific age at which it begins or ends. Adesomowo (1988) reported that the teen years starts at either 11 or 12 years and lasts to 19 years when the character of a person takes the permanent form. According to Nwosu (2005), adolescents include all persons aged 13 to 19 years who constitute about 20 per cent of the world population. Ezeorah (1982), Melgosa (2001), and a host of others agree that the teen years span from the 13th to the 19th years of life.


Bongaart and Cohen (1998) described the teen years as a period of transition from childhood to adulthood, characterized by heightened social awareness and accelerated physical growth. This period, they opined, marks the onset of puberty and biological maturity. It is a crucial period in the life of an individual because many key social, economic and demographic events occur that set the stage for adult life. Ukekwe (2001) described it as the most important period in human life, which if not properly handled, could lead to the most disastrous consequences in later life, especially among females. Notwithstanding the varied opinions on the beginning and the end of the teen years, studies by numerous authors and researchers, as mentioned earlier indicated that the teen years span from the 13th to the 19th year of life. Based on the opinion of researchers on the specific age at which teenage begins, the present study will be based on the age limit of 13 to 19 years. Ukekwe held that teenagers are expected to grow up morally, and gradually observing the norms of the society into adulthood. On the contrary, some of these teenagers engage in pre-marital sexual activities, which expose them to the risks of abortions, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancies.

Pregnancy as defined by Gordon(1983) is a condition in which a female carries in her womb, the young before it is born. Similarly, Skyes (2000) defined pregnancy as the condition of carrying a developing offering in the uterus. A look at the two definitions of pregnancy above could reveal that pregnancy is meant for procreation and continuity. Nwosu (2005) is of the opinion that when pregnancy occurs at the appropriate time and in wedlock, it is a welcome development, but if a teenager engages in pre-marital sex that may result in pregnancy, she is putting herself in a responsibility that she is inadequately prepared for. Teenage pregnancy therefore means conception by girls between the ages of 13 and 19 years. According to Allan Guttmacher Institute – (AGI) (1988), teenage pregnancy is an undesirable phenomenon. Onuzulike (2003) supported this when she observed that teenage pregnancy interferes with expectation regarding education, self-realization and economic prosperity among the affected teenagers. Ukekwe (2001) stated that stress arises even when pregnancies are planned, and to think of unplanned pregnancy means that the girl has to restructure her roles because she is inadequately prepared for parenthood. Fadeyi (1978) observed that numerous cases of school dropout; maternal mortality and morbidity, infertility, abortion and children being abandoned in gutters, dustbins, latrines and other deadly places are clear manifestations of the malady of teenage pregnancies.
Teenage pregnancy has vital implication for population growth. Nwosu (2005) opined that there is a global increase in teenage pregnancies. She observed that more than 14 million adolescents give birth each year thus contributing roughly 10 per cent of the world’s total number of births. Ukekwe (2001) noted that many of these babies are unwanted by their teen mothers. These babies, she maintained suffer from starvation, sicknesses, homelessness and abandonment among other complications. Briggs (2001) identified several complications associated with teenage pregnancy. These include; high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, malnutrition, vesico vaginal fistula, recto vaginal fistula and death. He observed that when high blood pressure is accompanied by proteinuria, the teenager’s condition can worsen to eclampsia, which if not controlled could progress to extreme hypertension, seizures, convulsion and cerebral hemorrhage. Chabra (1991) outlined complications of pregnancy among teenagers to include first and third trimester’s bleeding, severe anaemia, prolonged and obstructed labour, cephalo-pelvic disproportion, and toxaemias of pregnancy, stillbirth and high prenatal mortality and morbidity......

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