TEENAGE PREGNANCY PATTERNS AND ASSOCIATED FACTORS IN IGBO-ETITI LGA OF ENUGU STATE
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- (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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Skills acquisition centres should be established in every LGA to help make them independent.
- 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.
- The teaching of sex and sexual education should be made compulsory in all schools to help adolescents understand their physiological makeup.
- 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.