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Title: Psychological impact of teenage pregnancy on pregnant teenagers
Authors: Mashego, T A B
Sodi, Edzisani Egnes
Keywords: Teenage pregnancy
Psychological distress
Limpopo Province
Crisis management
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of teenage pregnancy on pregnant teenagers. Specifically, the study sought to determine whether or not pregnant teenagers experience psychological distress during pregnancy, and to explore the nature of such distress. Fifty two (52) pregnant teenagers were conveniently sampled to participate in the study. Their ages ranged from 15 to 20 years, with the gestation period ranging from 4 to 9 months. The sample included pregnant teenagers from high schools and tertiary institutions in the Capricorn District (Limpopo Province). Data was collected using triangulation of methods, namely quantitative and qualitative methods. For the quantitative data, a 28-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) which measures such factors as somatic complaints, anxiety and insomnia, social isolation, and depression was used. For qualitative data, three focus group interviews were conducted with the participants. The results suggested indications of psychological distress during the gestation period. These included experiences of symptoms associated with somatic complaints, anxiety and insomnia, social isolation and severe depression. Furthermore, the study showed themes of distress wherein teenagers react to the realisation of pregnancy with fear and disbelief, and thoughts of termination of pregnancy. Participants gave reports that pregnancy was seen as a shameful event for the teenagers involved. Coping strategies noted included teenagers‟ resort to avoidance of situations which were perceived to be stressful, and also associating with people they perceived as being more supportive. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made: a) Intervention programmes should be put in place so as to help minimise the psychological and social problems experienced by pregnant teenagers, for example, crisis management skills could be offered to help deal with the trauma experienced; b) Social support structures should be made available to pregnant teenagers; and, c) Cultural practices should be incorporated in education syllabi that focus on human sexuality and reproduction.
Description: Thesis (M.A.) (Psychology) ---University of Limpopo, 2010
Appears in Collections:Theses and Dissertations (Psychology)

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