Low self esteem a factor of teenage pregnancy – Research
In the developing world today, teenage pregnancy is as a result of traditional roles and early marriage. And in the developed world, the causes of teenage pregnancy are different in the sense that it is mostly outside marriage and carries lots of social stigma.
Adolescent sexual behaviour is one of the causes of teenage pregnancy. In our world today, having sex before age 20 is the in thing. But it has many negative spin offs.
There are sexual relationships among teenagers without the provision of comprehensive information about sex.
Low self-esteem is viewed as a risk factor for teens to become involved in risky sexual behaviour which may lead to pregnancy. In other cases, low self-esteem comes as a result of early pregnancy.
This chicken and egg relationship of self-esteem and pregnancy among teens has been the topic of several studies done.
It is, however, emphasized that teenage girls should be motivated to see themselves as smart, confident, and strong to help delay sexual activities and prevent pregnancies.
Research reveals that more than one million adolescents become pregnant each year, but only 46 percent actually have the baby. The remainder of these pregnancies ends in abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth.
According to the International Council for Self-Esteem, there is a close relationship between teenage pregnancy and self-esteem.
However, statistics and reports reveal that most teenage pregnancies are unwanted and is a significant problem worldwide’ since a girl getting pregnant in her teen years is likely to suffer from lots of physical and psychological problems.
Interviews with young women reveal that teen pregnancy can become a cause of embarrassment for the family of the girl if the girl is not married.
Life is not easy for a teenage mother and her child. Sometimes teenagers pre-plan the pregnancy but they are at high risks for health problems than girls who delay child bearing.
Reports reveal that babies delivered by teenagers have several risk factors. Premature birth, birth of underdeveloped child, delivering a baby with low birth weight, blood pressure problems, low iron level in blood, threat of sexually transmitted diseases and hypertension are common risks factors regarding the teenage pregnancy.
According to a medical doctor, teenage pregnancy has higher rates of mortality for both mother and an infant. Overall, teenage pregnancies increase health complications.
Most teenage girls get pregnant without an intention to conceive. No contraceptive is foolproof. Teenagers do not stop drinking, smoking or consuming drugs during pregnancy, thus harming their foetus.
The disadvantage of such a situations leads teenage mothers to drop out of the high schools or colleges without completing their education and getting financial security.
Raising their children becomes difficult for teenage mothers, while teenage pregnancy results in poor economic conditions and single parenting as usually teenage fathers are not ready for and deny to take responsibility of their children.
Children of teenagers are subject to abuse and neglect and teenage mothers have to depend on their parents for financial and emotional support.
However, age discrepancies also causes teenage pregnancy in the sense that a teenage girl with a partner much older than herself is more likely to get pregnant more often than a girl that have a partner of a close age, as she prefers having the children than abortion since she is not educated enough to use contraceptives.
Doctors say another contributory factor is the in-take of drugs, alcohol and other substances that clouds up judgment.
Meanwhile as a teenager you may not be ready for sexual intercourse at that moment but being intoxicated with drugs and alcohol makes you to become involved in unintended sexual activity just because sex at that time is less emotionally painful and embarrassing.
Health authorities in Guyana have expressed growing concern over the high rate of adolescent pregnancies here.
Although the prime child-bearing age in this country remains among the 20-24 age groups, early teenage pregnancies continue to record the highest rates, a document on Adolescents/Youths Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) said.