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Background of the Study

Teenage pregnancy has been existing in the society for long, hence is not a new issue. The incidence of child pregnancy cut across all ethnic groups in the country and abroad. Presently it’s social, economic, health, spiritual effect on the teenagers, the family and the society at large is a thing that calls for concern. These days, teenagers do not consider being pregnant at an early age without marriage an irresponsible act, they rather look at it from the angle that one condition or the other might have lead one to such act. This at times make some of them victims for more than a time before putting a stop to it or even continue till adult stage.

A teen is one between the ages of 13 – 19 years. The teenager year is a time of rapid growth and development, which Kay (2004) describes as adolescent (a period between childhood and adulthood). This is a time where the teenagers fight or search for themselves, their future, the answers to what do I want to be? Where do I start from? And what do I want to do?

Teenage pregnancy could be referred to as “baby having a baby”. This implies any pregnancy occurring in girls below the ages of 18 can be easily classified to as teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in human females under the age of 20 at the time that the pregnancy ends. A pregnancy can take place in a pubertal female before menarche (the first menstrual period), which signals the possibility of fertility, but usually occurs after menarche. In well-nourished girls, menarche usually takes place around the age of 12 or 13. Pregnant teenagers face many of the same obstetrics issues as other women. There are, however, additional medical concerns for mothers aged under 15. For mothers aged 15–19, risks are associated more with socio-economic factors than with the biological effects of age. However, research has shown risks of low birth weight, premature labour, anemia, and pre-eclampsia are connected to the biological age itself, as it was observed in teen births even after controlling for other risk factors (Such as utilization of antenatal care etc).

In developed countries, teenage pregnancies are often associated with social issues, including lower educational levels, higher rates of poverty, and other poorer life outcomes in children of teenage mothers. Teenage pregnancy in developed countries is usually outside of marriage, and carries a social stigma in many communities and cultures. By contrast, teenage parents in developing countries are often married, and their pregnancies welcomed by family and society. However, in these societies, early pregnancy may combine with malnutrition and poor health care to cause medical problems.

Statement of Problem

With the increase in mass education about family planning and sex education on radios (made available local language by organizations such as society for family health and distribution of condoms and family planning method), there is a high rate of teenage pregnancy and this leads to the question: “What are the factors responsible for teenage pregnancy among secondary school students and its effect on their academic achievement?

Early motherhood can affect the psychosocial development of the infant. The children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely with a low birth weight, predisposing them to many other lifelong conditions. Children of teen mothers are at higher risk of intellectual, language, and socio-emotional delays. Developmental disabilities and behavioral issues are increased in children born to teen mothers. One study suggested that adolescent mothers are less likely to stimulate their infant through affectionate behaviors such as touch, smiling, and verbal communication, or to be sensitive and accepting toward his or her needs. Poor academic performance in the children of teenage mothers has also been noted, with many of them being more likely than average to fail to graduate from secondary school, be held back a grade level, or score lower on standardized tests. Daughters born to adolescent parents are more likely to become teen mothers themselves.

The high rate note of teenage pregnancy and the health risks associated with it such as prolonged labour, vesico vagina fistula (V.V.F), perineal tear, premature labour and pre-eclampsia are a threat to the life and well-being of the mothers. This had made it necessary to carry out this study in Command Secondary school, Kaduna. It is also significant at finding its consequences on the teenagers and the possible remedy in order to reduce the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy.

Objectives of the Study    

The objective of the study is to know the various factors that are responsible for pregnancy amongst secondary school students and they are:

i.             To identify the factors responsible for teenage pregnancy among secondary school students.

ii.            To determine the effects of teenage pregnancy among female secondary school students.

iii.          Find out strategies to minimize teenage pregnancy

Significance of the Study

Community, parents, society and government will be made to understand the implications and consequences of teenage pregnancy among the secondary school students within the study area.

The result of this study may also bring awareness to the teachers and community at large on the factors responsible for teenage pregnancy thereby help in reducing its prevalence.

Research Questions

The following research questions have been formulated to guide the study. 1.  What are the factors responsible for teenage pregnancy?

2.     What are the effects of teenage pregnancy on the secondary

         school students?

3.     What strategies could be adopted to reduce the teenage pregnancy among secondary school students?

Scope and Limitations of the Study

This research is carried out in Command Secondary school Kaduna. The research could have achieved more, using the whole population for the study to obtain better accuracy of data but due to time and financial constraints, a small number of population that comprise fifty (50) respondents will be used to represent the whole population.

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