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This study was designed to investigate the factors associated with teenage pregnancy among secondary school students in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State. The survey design the was used for the study as it permits the description of the situation in their natural setting. The population for the study comprised 14, 450 female students from among the 22 co-educational/female secondary school in Isi-Uzo L.G.A. the sample size of the study comprised 200 female students selected from the ten secondary schools in Isi-Uzo educational zone. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire which consisted of three close-ended items each to corresponds with three dimensions (educational, moral and economic) factors associated with teenage pregnancies.

The data collected were analyzed using frequencies and percentages. The results showed that inadequate information on sex education in school curriculum was the major educational factor associated with teenage pregnancy. Watching  pornographic films, peers influence, lack of parental cares are the moral factors associated with teenage pregnancy while low economic background, quest for material gifts were the economic factors associated with teenage pregnancies. The study suggests that health education, which is the umbrella under which sex education will be taught, should as a matter of necessity, be made a core subject of the secondary school programme. Moreover, it was recommended that parents and guardians should provide the basic needs of their teenage wards in and outside the schools as this will help to discourage them from looking for their needs from the opposite sex.



In developed and developing countries teenage pregnancy continued to receive increased attention because of early age at which adolescents engage in sexual activity and the result of unplanned and unintended pregnancies associated with the risk and problems of early motherhood, lack of adequate information, education and communication on reproductive health services and the perennial concern parts of the world revealed that adolescence becomes sexually active at an early age with responding high number of teenage pregnancy in the world today.

In addition, in 17th century the case of teenage pregnancy was increasing in number every month, the researchers view teenage pregnancy and define it as the female who get pregnant at the age of fourteen to sixteen years of life which led her into different problems such as poor education.

Further more,  in many developing countries about half the population is under 15 years. These age groups have expose themselves into sexual habit which have lead many of them into teenage pregnancy in their area and at the same time cost the adolescent their educational backward. Out of wedlock pregnancy and motherhood is a taboo to the society. When pregnancy is allowed to continue, it may place the mothers health in danger. After birth the health risk to the mother and her child will be low to compare with the health risk of the adolescent mother and the baby, is likely to receive adequate parental care. Those circumstances may be responsible for increase in infanticide, baby abandonment and child abuse for his reasons pregnancies among teenagers are creating concern for many industrialized countries even though, overall teenager rates are very high WHO (1989).

Teenage pregnancy is regarded to as undesirable phenomenon. Sexually among educationally and economically under privileged females whose health is below normal as a result of poor medical care. There is also a psychological implications of unplanned pregnancy among adolescents and it may not only have adverse effect on the mother but also the babies as well as the adolescent mother. All the basic things needed for quality life some times tend to be in adequately attainable: housing, food, education, health and recreation are always problematic.

Added to the risk of being born by teenage mother, there also existed other associated risk for babies born into an already and unequally environment lacking lives basic needs, baby and mother usually stand disadvantaged and handicapped in day to day living. Teenage mothers are typically depicted as inadequate parents (Buch Hoiz, 1993) then children are thought to be a significant risk for maltreatment. However the degree of risk to children teenage parents may be well determine by the financial, social and emotional stresses these families face. The critical factor being the availability of resources, which offer support and encouragement.

In recognition of the identified problems of teenage pregnancy and early motherhood, there are many welfare programmes and services available to pregnant adolescent in most of the developed countries, family welfare programmes are considered as a set of measures formulated at the executive level to provide concrete support and services for the advancement of groups and individuals in order to bring about social change family programmes concern social security, social assistance, health family planning, education welfare services food and nutrition etc.

The form and content of a programme as well as its organization and administration depends on the culture and history of a given country including its values, customs and social structure as well as its resources and awareness and specific programme should be organized to the parents and guidance about the prevention of teenage pregnancy in the country.

The concept of social health emanated from the multifaceted view of health which according to world health organization is a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being of an individual and not merely the absence of disease or infirmities. According to Chijioke (1990) man is well known to be a social animal and therefore lives by interacting with his fellow human beings. Similarly, Oguguo (1996) observes that man’s nature, which can not be effectively fulfilled without inter and intra relationship has equally created some social problems ranging from hatred to others, bred and natured by the so called jet age. These problems according to Oguguo (1996) are the evil effects of man’s social consciousness which health educators have designated social health. Some of these problems emanating from social health according to Asogwa (1997) are called social health problems. This is because according to him their solution require community effort, professional  know how co-operation of other disciplines and greater effort and time. Nwachukwu (1997) identified teenage pregnancy alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual promiscuity among others as social health problems which are usually associated with the adolescents. Chauhan (1983) asserted that development is a continuous process, which begins from time of conception in the womb of the mother and continues till death.

However, that period of life that lies between the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood is termed adolescence. Njoku (1985) pointed that adolescent is that span of years during which boys and girls move from childhood to adulthood, mentally, emotionally, socially and physically. The period varies in length from culture to culture. During the adolescent years which spans between the ages of twelve and twenty years in Nigeria (Ene and Nnamani (1997) most teenage experience a period of very rapid growth the adolescent growth spurt. This growth is accompanied by the development of reproductive organs and such secondary sex characteristics as breast enlargement in girls, beards in boys and appearance of pubic hairs generally. These changes culminated in puberty marked by the development of sperm cells in boys ovum and subsequent menstruation in girls. The bodily changes that accompany sexual maturity are a source of both pride  and embarrassment in the adolescent.

Ajiboye (1982) remarked that adolescent is a period when the youngsters to develop heterosexual feelings. This sort of feeling many lead the youngsters to develop passionate affection for others.

This may be attributed to why adolescents want to go out, engage in social activities, attend church services and carryout all sorts of personal exhibitions of themselves such teenage social interactions tend to create an atmosphere for personal affection, love which may even result in sexual intercourse. The sex hormones already in their blood streams constitutes a powerful force, which generates the sex drives and craving in them.

Sex is one area in which impulse most frequently conflict with moral standard and violation of these standards may generates strong feelings of guilt. This especially so, if it results in an illegitimate pregnancy in a teenager.

But in traditional Nigeria setting, sex is regarded as being very personal and exclusive, and any careless reference to it without caution, both in words or deed is deemed immoral and irresponsible.

Thus there is an apparent silent ban on the direct reference to sex. Consequently girls abstained from pre-marital sex for it was a virtue both the bride and the groom to be innocent of sexual acts until after wedlock. Christianity also extended this restrictive attitude towards sexual expressions and participation. (Nnadi (1982) reported that school were built and managed by missionaries who imposed very stringent codes of conduct on hetero sexual activities. The mission was aimed at preventing children from knowledge of any type of sex activities which was collectively regarded as acts of immorality and sin against God.

The situation however changed remarkably after the civil war with the take over of schools by the federal and state government of Nigeria. Many co-educational institutions were established such that teenage males and females had more opportunities to interact with one another. It is worthy of note that prior to this era according to Ngwu (1987), the western world had adopted radically liberated social altitude towards sex. He observed that sexual intercourse has becomes glorified and commercialized and all types of behaviour such a nudity homosexuality and premarital sex recklessly and publicly expressed with impunity.

Consequently, Ngwu reported that there are today almost legalized pornographic magazines, blue firms and romantic novels among others. These could be however the reason why Okoro (1998) observed that effects of civil war, establishment of corresponding viability of satisfactory knowledge and acceptable use of birth control methods heightened the incidence of teenage pregnancy, abortions, veneral diseases, drug additions, promiscuity and other social health problems. Onyia (1990) had earlier reported that the pregnant teenager is usually maladjusted because she feels that she has committed a crime consequently, she feels ashamed, guiltly not always accepted by peers, parents, relatives and even to a considerate extent by the society.

Definitely teenage pregnancies do not come about on their own. It is strongly rooted on numerous possible multi-dimensional factors. In order to ascertain the factors associated with teenage pregnancies among secondary school students in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, Bamidele (1989) criteria for describing factors for the non-acceptance of family planning methods was adopted for ascertaining the factors associated with teenage pregnancies therefore this study is geared towards finding the factors associated with teenage pregnancies among secondary school students in Isi-Uzo  local government area of Enugu state.

Isi-Uzo Local Government Area is predominantly.  Made up of Urban and Rural dwellers/areas. Some of the schools are located in the rural areas including their teachers. As a result of this, the Urban inhabitants are mainly teachers and pretty traders with few civil servants of low cadre. The rural dwellers include few teachers and mainly peasant farmers. The people also appear to be poor and not well educated.

Jones (1988), asserted that in most Igbo cultures, children are traditionally held both as social and economic assets. The local government area is chosen because members of the community utilize the same health institutions, attend the same schools and have similar characteristics.


  Statement of Problem

Ude (1985), described the rampancy with which teenagers get pregnant in Nigeria after the civil war. According to him, the problem assumed a large dimension with time and people started being aware of such unruly tendency on the part of these teenagers. According to Igiebor (1987), the pervasiveness of moral decadence has turned sex which used to be a taboo in the olden days to be seen as a symbol of sophistication by the modern societies, explicit expression of sexuality in various forms and sexually suggestive music are allowed which stimulates teenager’s curiosity and enhanced sexual intercourse which results in teenagers pregnancy

With these explicit expression of sexuality, health education and preaching against it were carried out by concerned individuals but all these did not bear much fruits as to stop the menace. Rather according to Aneke (1986), many more teenagers get attracted to some ‘goddies’ and were fully initiated into heterosexual relationship leading to increase in the number of teenagers getting pregnant every year.Nokidu (1987), observed that the problems is pretty serious as according to him teenage pregnancies continued to be on the increase.

The teenage parenthood according to Ani (1989), is a reflection of the society. Ani further stated that it is a common occurrence and is fast trying to become part of our culture instead of a taboo.It is however a general observation according to Ezugwu (1990), that teenagers who fall prey to this problem usually get so embarrassed, disturbed, frustrated and become totally dislodged and disillusioned in life. He concluded that the future of those who would be leaders are completely shattered.

This study therefore is to investigate the factors associated with teenage pregnancies among the secondary school students in Isi-uzo local government area of Enugu state.



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