PROJECT TOPIC- DETERMINING THE INCIDENCE OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY AMONG FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Nigeria is a fast developing nation in all aspects of sophistication which should not be limited to building structures but with how people think, reason, feel and understand among their fellow human beings. The period of physical, social, and psychological development of the child, which extends from the ages of about 13 to 20 years are ordinarily referred to as the teenage years or the period of adolescence. Physically this period is characterized by a rapid spurt of growth, the maturing of the reproductive system and the development of secondary sex characteristics. Various endocrine glands are exerting strong influence during these years. A girl is considered to have reached puberty when she has her first menstrual period which usually occurs between the ages

of 12 and 14 years. Socially children of this age group like adventures and sometimes make approaches to members of the opposite sex for friendship. As they interact with their mates they admire gangs which they use to taste some items enjoyed by adults such as cigarettes, marijuana, beer and sometimes attempt sexual activities. According to Akimgba (1977), teenage pregnancy is described as pregnancy that occurs during the teenage period (i.e. between 13 – 19 years of age) regardless of whether the teenager is married or not. Pauls (1974) is of the option that all early marriages, from 13 – 20 years, in

which pregnancy occurs is inclusive in the teenage pregnancy. McCarthy (1979) opined that teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy which is unplanned and sporadic in the teen years i.e. (13 – 19 years).In this study teenage pregnancy will be defined as an out – of – wedlock pregnancy (i.e., pregnancy outside marriage) occurring in a teenager. Teenage pregnancy is generally regarded by a greater percentage of Nigerians and people all over the world as a grave social and moral problem which often results in shame and distress to the teenager, discrimination against her, an illegitimate child for her and the added

responsibility and expense to the teenager’s family and the society in general (Row, 1966). In some communities, tribes and societies, where a girl must prove that she is fertile before she can be married by a man, teenage pregnancy might be seen as a moral course of event. A typical example is in the Daura Local Government Area of Kastina State where it is being practiced. (Kola, 1991). In very  many other societies in Nigeria, it is seen not only as a social problem, but as a taboo as well as family disaster. In other words, teenage pregnancy as perceived by different group of people and communities is informed

by the norms and values of the people in question. In obstetrics, pregnancy in the teenage period is classified under ‘at risk’ because the teenager is not fully mature to undergo the stress of labour as the pelvis is not yet very adequate. The pelvis forms a bony canal through which the foetus must pass during the process of birth. If the pelvis is not mature, and adequate, it will be difficult for the baby to pass through during labour. With a pelvis that is not fully developed, the pregnant teenager as she approaches labour, is faced with the danger of vesico – vaginal fistula (VVF) and recto – vaginal fistula (RVF), VVF

occurs as a result of prolonged and difficult labour and there forms an abnormal opening between the bladder and vagina while RVF is an abnormal opening between the rectum and vagina. In either case, there is leakage of urine or faeces into the vagina. These conditions are usually very distressing and uncomfortable to the young woman. Pregnancy at this stage is a burden rather than a joy both to the teenager and her family, probably because it was generally unplanned and sporadic. This is in contrast to a pregnancy that is planned and is received with joy. An adult who is married expects her

baby with joy, buys things and waits in anticipation. She keeps herself in good physical and mental condition by going to antenatal clinic in order to have a live baby without complications. Some pregnant teenagers may even try to remove the baby or terminate the pregnancy by the use of dangerous drugs and by criminal abortion. This puts the life of the mother and baby at risk in that the mother may die during the attempt or lose a lot of blood or have irreparable life – long damage of the reproductive organs or the intestines. If fortunately labour goes well, the baby might fall victim of abandonment in a

bush or may be given to a motherless babies home or even for rituals. The teenager might also engage in a marriage that is unplanned or run away from home and join the band of prostitutes or robbers. However, this period in life is usually the time most teenagers are in secondary school or even university. Pregnancy at this time costs the teenager her education in which she might not have the opportunity of schooling again as a result of dismissal from school, which is usually the case. Enugu North Local Government which was chosen for this study is situated in the heart of Enugu metropolis and has all the

characteristics of most urban cities which include promiscuity and indulgence of the youth in exercise smoking, drinking and gambling. Nigeria, today, is currently facing a very serious problem of unemployment and our development schemes have not improved the quality of life as much as they should. Many villages are without pipe – borne water, adequate food, electricity, healthcare, road network and the citizens are overcrowded with poor and inadequate housing. To worsen the already bad situation is the increase in the number of dropouts from our secondary schools who roam the streets in

urban areas offering themselves to various men for economic gain. Statements made by eminent Nigerians and the government highlight the concern being shown in many quarters on the need to find a solution to some of the pressing social and economic problems of the country. These problems include the increase in infant mortality rate, the rise in abortion cases and the problem posed by the incidence of abandoned children in many parts of the country. It was this clarion call therefore that prompted this research.In a bid to get at the problem we worked with senior secondary two and three female students

of female secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area and their principals and staff. There are no mixed secondary schools in this general area and it is assumed that the senior students having spent quite sometime in the school should have adequate knowledge of the questions being asked. This does not mean that other student may not be knowledgeable also but we cannot use everybody.

PROJECT TOPIC- DETERMINING THE INCIDENCE OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY AMONG FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE.

1.2  STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

            Teenage pregnancy has been a thing of much concern because of the risk it poses to both the teenager mother and the unborn baby. The baby when eventually born will be an unwanted child and cannot be catered for while the mother becomes a school dropout, helpless and will eventually move out to the urban centres for prostitution or other criminal activities in order to make a living. Today, Nigeria is facing a very serious problem of unemployment, crime, juvenile delinquency and child abuse. There is no doubt that teenage pregnancy has helped to compound these problems by pushing out into the

cities unskilled young women and their children who make themselves readily available for criminal activities. Because of the disturbing nature of these problems one will not therefore hesitate in proffering possible solutions to the above nagging issues through a study of this nature.

1.3  RESEARCH QUESTION

  In tackling the problems of this study the following research questions have been formulated.

  1. What is the incidence of pregnancy among teenage female secondary school students in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State?
  2. What are the major causes of teenage pregnancy?
  3. What are the roles played by parents in preventing teenage pregnancy?
  4. What are the consequences of teenage pregnancy on the teenage mother and the baby?

PROJECT TOPIC- DETERMINING THE INCIDENCE OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY AMONG FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE.

1.4  DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study was delimited as follows:

  1. The study attempted to find out the incidence of teenage pregnancy in selected female schools. This is further delimited to the causes of teenage pregnancy, roles of parents in preventing teenage pregnancy and the consequences of teenage pregnancy on the teenagers and babies. This delimitation was necessary because there are no mixed secondary schools in the local Government Area of study.
  2. The study was delimited to Enugu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
  3. The information required for this study was delimited to the senior students, staff and principals only. This is because the senior students having spent quite sometime in school should have adequate knowledge of the questions being asked.

1.5  LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

During this investigation, certain difficulties were experienced which restricted the scope of the study. The factors that limited the work of the researchers included:

  1. The data – gathering methods adopted in this study were the questionnaire and oral interview. Thus the study was subject to the weakness inherent in a questionnaire format that requires individuals to accurately convey their internalized perceptions.
  2. The study could not cover all the six female secondary schools due to restrictions posed by time available for the study, which was too short to allow for effective coverage.
  3. The attitudinal behaviour of some of the principals, vice – principals, (Administration) and other staff also affected the study in some small measure. Some staff were reluctant to answer or supply the needed information.
  4. Financial constraint was another factor that limited the scope of this investigation.

1.6  SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

            The study is considered an important one because schools and families will understand their individual and collective roles in helping their teenagers not to become victims of teenage pregnancy. The nation at large will equally take on her responsibilities to ensure that these helpless teenagers are properly sensitized so as not to be deceived into illicit love affairs that result in pregnancy. The study may be justified also on the contributions it will make to the body of knowledge in guidance and counseling in general and to schools and families in particular.

1.7  DEFINITION OF TERMS

The following terms have been operationally defined as follows:

Teenager: A boy or girl that is within the ages of 13 – 19 years.

Teenage Pregnancy: An out-of-wedlock pregnancy i.e. pregnancy outside marriage occurring in a teenager.

Abortion: The termination of a pregnancy after implantation of the blastocyst in the endometrium but before the foetus has obtained ability, that is, before it has become capable of surviving, with appropriate life support, the neonatal period and eventually maintaining an independent extra uterine life.

Sex: Sex can be defined as an act of coition which involves the participation of a male and female.

Impact: Impact means the result of thing or activity on something that causes a reaction in that thing.

PROJECT TOPIC- DETERMINING THE INCIDENCE OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY AMONG FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE.

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