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  • Background of the Study

            One major contemporary social problem confronting most countries in the world is Teenage pregnancy. From the first world countries such as the United states to the third world countries, this problem has been a source of worry for policy makers, social workers and other human service providers due to its negative repercussions on the girl-child (Grunseit, 2007).

Teenage is a stage in life in which the individual (male or female) begins to develop sexual characteristics. It is usually between the ages of 13-19 years. At this stage in life, sexual desires are often at their peak. Teenagers are in what Bible calls “the bloom of youth” a time when their sexual organs develop and they become capable of having children.

Pregnancy at whatever stage in life can be a life changing experience that cuts across boundaries of race, educational attainment and socio-economic status (Kost et al., 2010). Motherhood places demands on one’s life which were hitherto non-existent prior to the birth of the girl child. When a girl that should be in school becomes pregnant, her entire life could be completely altered as her hopes and aspirations could be shattered. Pregnancy is a condition when a child bearing mother is having a developing fetus or embryo insider her. Mfuh, Umma and Sunday (2013) described this as: “the most rewarding experience of a woman’s life which can also be a tremendous challenge. This is a period a woman undergoes several hormonal changes accomplished by discomfort, distraction and physiological transformation which may interfere with her studies in conjunction with her responsibilities at home as a wife for the married. Recent research in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State discovered that more than thirty percent (31 .5%) of girl at age 18 have given birth at least once (Gyang, 2017). This statistics according to him shows that pregnancy especially that of the teenager is becoming more and more a barrier to girls’ education. Marteleto, Lam and Ranchord (2008) continued to note that school girl’s pregnancy has been one of the major hindrances to the educational success of women. To which Changach (2012) concluded that this imposes long term consequences on the career development of these young mothers and hence is likely to lead to transmission of poverty from generation to generation.

Teenage pregnancy is one of the social ills that affect society. The existence of teenage pregnancy significantly affects the development of the girl-child. This is attributable to the girls’ absence of any consistent means of support to care for the children and themselves when they should have been in school. It is alleged that teenage pregnancy and its associated motherhood are characterized with shame, disgrace, school dropout and sometimes end of the individual’s dream of achieving higher pursuits. According to Yampolskaya, Brown, and Greenbaum (2012), approximately 60% of adolescent mothers live in poverty at the time of the birth of their babies, and approximately 73% go on welfare within 5 years of giving birth. Kanku and Mash (2010) also affirmed that falling pregnant while still at school happen at the wrong time for a girl as it affects their education and often ends up ruining their future. According to Lynch and Ghosh (2008), cultural norms prescribes different role for mothers (pregnant or nursing women) in all societies irrespective of their age, so as to be able to perform their varied care taking role in the family. With these responsibilities and the need to meet up the expectations from the academic field so as to fulfill one’s career and destiny, Mngoma (2010) said that most pregnant students drop out of school or had to repeat classes several times. They may also not be socially and personally mature enough to assume the new role of parenthood (Boltin in Sibeko, 2012) together with being a student at the same time. Also the emotional impact of the crisis of pregnancy which may in some instance end in the termination of the pregnancy could also result in the student experiencing post-abortion stress symptoms. These might have a detrimental impact on the student’s bio-psychosocial well-being, relationships and ultimately affect her academic performance.

In Nigerian secondary schools, the increase rate of students involving in prenatal sex has predisposed the student to unwanted pregnancies either by their fiance or boy friend as is rampant in the various institutions Pandy, Makiwane, Ranched and Letsoalo (2009) opined that as young people spend longer periods in education, as part of the natural course of development, sexual experimentation and maturity is increasingly coinciding with them. More so, the number of years spent by the student in the school seems to trigger the inability to control their urges for marriage until after graduating.

Moreso, the fact that most parents pay less attention to their children, coupled with the fact that teenagers today are growing up in a culture in which peers, television and motion pictures, music and magazine often transmit either covert or overt message that unmarried sexual relationship (specifically those involving teenagers) are common accepted and at times expected behaviour have contributed immensely to the moral decadence rampant among our teenagers. Education about responsible sexual behaviour and specific clear information about the consequences of sexual intercourse (including pregnancy, sexual transmitted disease and psychological impacts) are frequently not offered in the home, at school or in the community settings. Therefore, much of the sex education teenagers receive filters through misinformed and/or unified peers.

          All these of course lead teenagers into early dating behaviour (which lead to premarital sex) and early use of alcohol or other drugs, including tobacco products, which could lead to pregnancy. Research has shown that early dating at age 12 is associated with a 91% chance of being sexually involved before age 19 and dating at 13 is associated with a 36% probability of sexual involvement during adolescent or teenage (Marchiono, 2002). He went further to say that a sexually active teenager who does not use contraceptive has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant with in 1 year.

          However, to be pregnant is a right that is supposed to be shared with one’s life partners unfortunately, due to various reasons, it has been abused by our teenagers today. Statistically four in ten girls become pregnant before 20 over 900-1000 teenage pregnancies annually in united states, but reflects some of the realities faced by pregnant teenagers all over the world. And about 40% of teenage mothers are under 18 years of age (Awaki, 2004). This is as a result of various factors, such as the impacts of broken homes, ignorance of the conservancies of sexual activities, lack of self-respect on the part of some teenagers to experience sex, as well as their failure to take necessary precautions (for sample, having sexual intercourse without adequate contraception.

This in turn has led to a high rate of school dropout, cycle of poverty, destitution, increased rate of abortion, emotional depression high level of delinquency, high mortality rate, reduced labour force as well as drop in the standard of living of the teenagers involved, their families and the society in general. It should be noted that both teenage mother and father may suffer economic hardship and fail to achieve their education and career goals, for example, at Texas in united states, teenage pregnancy and early marriage are reported reasons for leaving school, among many others, which are correlated to different specific aspects of social, economic and psychological needs that were not fulfilled (Galimbertti, 2005).

Chase-Lansdale and Coley (1998) suggest that if they decide to dropout, 30% return and eventually graduate. Those who could not complete their high school (secondary school) education often find themselves in a cycle of poverty out of which is hard to break. Previous studies have also found that by dropping out of school, thus disrupting their education, the school leavers face restrictions and disadvantages in the labour market. Low wages would diminish their likelihood of improving their standards of living (Galimbertti, Percy Antonio, 2005).

Despite the continuous concern over the issue of teenage pregnancy and inspite of its captions in Jos South Local government Area, only very few research investigations have been carried out to provide relevant information for designing appropriate intervention policies and programmes to address the problem. It is in the light of the above discussion that this study sets out to examine the impact of teenage pregnancy on teenagers in Senior Secondary Schools in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

          It has been observed that teenage pregnancy has remained persistent in our local communities due to various contributing factors and has had negative impacts on the life of the teenagers involved, for example, Spear (2001) affirms that teenage mothers are unlikely to complete secondary school education. The incompletion of a secondary school education limits the life earning potentials among the teenage population, which could perpetuate the cycle of impoverishment among them. In many states in Nigeria, teenage pregnancy has been one of the major hindrances to the educational success of girls (Leibowitz & Tlakula, 20018). As more young women remain in school in Nigeria, more students are exposed to the risk of becoming pregnant. Secondary school pregnant teenagers still face its associated consequences, including consequences from the family of the teenager (rejection and discrimination from their families), consequences from the teenage mother (early marriage, low self-esteem and health problems), consequences from school life (separation with former friends and isolation from other students) and consequences from community (lack of support from community and underestimation from community) (WHO, 2020).

Many researches argued that the high number of teenagers drop out of schools as a results of getting pregnant. This is because girls who get pregnant while they are in school hardly continue to be students. According to David (2018), as consequences of getting pregnant on the education of girls who are expecting to give birth to babies, their performance decreased compared to the academic performance before pregnancy.

Base on this, the study is therefore, concerned with the identification and assessment of the causes and impacts of teenage pregnancy on the academic performance of the teenagers involved as well as exploring various strategies through which it can be avoided, prevented or tackled in Jos South local government area, so as to enable teenage mothers and fathers as well as sexually active teenagers who would have dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancy to achieve their educational and career goals.

1.3. Purpose of the Study

          The main purpose of this study is to examine the impact of teenage pregnancy on teenagers in Senior Secondary Schools in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State. The specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Determine the causes of teenage pregnancy among teenagers in Jos South Local Government Area.
  2. Examine the impact of teenage pregnancy on their social behaviours in secondary schools.
  3. Find out the impact of teenage pregnancy on teenagers’ academic performance in secondary schools.
  4. Find out the role of the counsellor in enhancing academic performance and social behaviours of pregnant teenage students in Jos South Local Government Area.

1.4. Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to guide the study:

  1. What are the causes of teenage pregnancy among teenagers in Jos South Local Government Area?
  2. What is the impact of teenage pregnancy on their social behaviours in secondary schools?
  • What is the impact of teenage pregnancy on teenagers’ academic performance in secondary schools?
  1. What are the roles of the counsellor in enhancing academic performance and social behaviours of pregnant teenage students in Jos South Local Government Area?

1.5. Significance of the Study 

The benefits of this study cannot be underemphasized, especially now that the society is drifting towards damnation occasioned by sexual escaped among teenagers. Therefore, this study shall be beneficial to educational stakeholders such as teachers, students, counsellors, government, NGOs and future researchers.

Teachers will benefit from this study because they are device means of teaching students so that the teenagers who are pregnant will also be carried along. Similar to this, teacher will serve as advisors to teenagers so that they will not be victims of teenage pregnancy. Teachers will also advice teenagers who are pregnant to attend school counselling sessions to get encouragement in order to do well academically.

Students who are teenagers will benefit from this study as they will come to know the impact of teenage pregnancy on academic performance. In line with this, they will abstain themselves from pre-marital sex or use contraceptives which will prevent them from getting pregnant at a teenage age.

Counsellors will benefit from this study as they will see the grate need of initiating sex education in the secondary school which will as well teach students about abstaining from premarital sex and also encourage them to use contraceptives or protection if they cannot abstain from sex at a teenage age.

Government will provide adequate information to every school in the local government area under study, concerning the various methods that can be used to avoid or prevent teenage pregnancy which could lead to school dropout among the students (especially the sexually active ones). This will go a long way in enabling the students to accomplish their educational and career prospects.

          The study will assist health divisions in identifying and assessing the various contributing factors and the implications of teenage pregnancy in the local government area as well as enabling them to develop strategies for alleviating teenage pregnancy in the twenty-first (21st) century.

To help policy planners to organize programmes for children and teenagers to know the necessary factors to take into consideration when formulating and implementation policies and programme designed to sensitize the children and teenagers about the implication/ complications of teenage pregnancy. This study will also assist them in identifying the various strategies that can be adopted in attacking, reducing and preventing the occurrences of teenage pregnancy.

Moreso, it would help to stimulate and draw government attention as well as private agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs), interest towards the issue of teenage pregnancy and how it can be tackled, prevented and reduced to a barest minimum.

            Finally, when this study is completed, it will serve as a source of reference materials to future researchers who would want to carry out research on teenage pregnancy and its impact of students. It will also add to the already existing body of literature on the topic under study.

1.6. Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study covers impact of teenage pregnancy on teenagers in Senior Secondary Schools. The study shall be restricted to some selected Secondary Schools in Jos South Local Government Area. The variables to be covered in this study are the causes of teenage pregnancy among teenagers, the impact of teenage pregnancy on their social behaviours, the impact of teenage pregnancy on teenagers’ academic performance and the role of the counsellor in enhancing academic performance and social behaviours of pregnant teenage students in Jos South Local Government Area.

1.7. Definition of Terms

          In the course of this study, a number of terms were employed. Some of the terms will now be defined for the purpose clarity and understanding. They are as follows:

Pregnancy: the state of being pregnant.

Teenager: A person who is between 13 and 19 years old.

Teenage pregnancy: pregnancy occurring in women age 19 and/or younger.

Fertility: The state of bring fertile, that is the ability to produce offspring or power of production.

Sexual intercourse: the physical ability of sex, usually describing the act of a man putting his penis inside a woman Virginia.

Contraception: The practice of preventing a woman from becoming pregnant. It is also the method of preventing conception.

Academic Performance: This refers to the extent to which an individual excels in her academic endeavours. This could either be high or low academic performance.

  • Format: ms-word (doc)
  • Chapter 1 to 5
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Bank Name: United Bank of Africa (UBA)
Account Name: chianen kenter
Account Number: 2056899630
Account Type: savings
Amount: ₦3000