MOTHERHOOD AND FAMILY LIFE ADJUSTMENT PATTERNS AMONG IN-SCHOOL ADOLESCENTS IN DELTA STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The study sought to investigate the motherhood and family life adjustment patterns among in-school adolescents in Delta State, Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The population of the study consisted of all the 548 in-school adolescent mothers in senior secondary school two(SSII) in public secondary schools in Delta State. The sample size for the study was 97in-school adolescent mothers selected through multi-stage sampling procedure. Four research questions and four null hypotheses guided the study. An instrument titled “motherhood and family life adjustment pattern questionnaire (MFLAPQ)” was used for data collection. Cronbach Alpha was used to determine the internal consistency of the instrument and a overall reliability co-efficient of 0.85 was obtained. Data were collected by the researcher with the help of two research assistants. Data were analyzed using mean and standard deviation to answer the four research questions, while t- test was used to test the four null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The results of the findings revealed among others that adolescent motherhood could be due to exposure of young girls to street hawking, family poverty which makes the girls to accept having premarital sex and so on; that adolescent motherhood makes girls drop out of school, exposes young girls to poverty, exposes babies born by young girls to health problems but does not lead to societal rejection of young mothers and neglect of the girls. It was recommended among others that government should through the ministry of education organize sexual education intervention programmes to enlighten the youth on the causes, consequences, family life adjustment patterns and strategies for minimizing in-school adolescent motherhood.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Adolescence is an important stage of human growth and development. It is an important stage because series of changes take place within an individual during this stage which brings the individual to adulthood. For individuals to move from childhood to adulthood, certain changes and orientations are necessary. To this end, Onyejiaku (1991) refers to adolescence as a period of intense socialization and often a time of equal interest, loneliness and acceptance by peers. Obikeze (2001) defines adolescence as a period of transition from childhood to adulthood characterized by physical, physiological and social developments. Obikeze adds that it is the period between the onset of puberty and maturity, corresponding with the ages 12 to the early 20’s. Mengal (2010) defines adolescence as a period of development from 13th years to 19th years or in a strict sense from onset of attainment of maturity.

Adolescence as a stage of human development is associated with certain characteristics. According to Ngwoke and Eze (2010), adolescence begins with the onset of puberty, the period of physical growth and development that brings to an end childhood and enables the growing person to achieve adult size, shape and sexual reproductive capacity. The researchers further explain that in females, adolescence is characterized by signs like production of sex hormones such as the progesterone and estrogen which cause the beginning of breast development, first pubic hair, widening of lips, the growth spurt, menarche (the beginning of menstruation), and completion of breast and pubic hair growth. Physically, adolescence is a period of growth which is characterized by appearance of menstruation, changes in height, changes in body proportion, development in primary and secondary sex characteristics, change in hair growth and physiological changes among others. This suggests that adolescent females are to some extent ready for child bearing.

Adolescent is a young person growing from a child into an adult (Wehmeier, 2001). Adolescent can be marked biologically and physically by onset of maturity and the termination of physical growth, cognitively as change in the ability to think abstractly and socially prepared for adult roles. Recent reports indicate that all is not well in the adolescents at this period of their lives. According to Human (2000) many psychological risk factors such as stress, poor body image and parental adolescent conflict have been implicated in the development of depression during adolescence. Some adolescents take certain risks that could influence their lives. Accordingly, Atuyambe (2008) explained that adolescents might consider themselves as grown up and therefore mature enough to have sex and they often lack knowledge about consequences of unprotected sex which one of them is unwanted pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancy among the adolescents could lead to adolescent motherhood.

Motherhood could be referred to as a condition of being a mother. According to Wehemier (2001) motherhood is a state of being a mother. Whenever a female gives birth to a child, she becomes a mother. On the other hand, if an adolescent gives birth to a child, she becomes an adolescent mother. Adolescent motherhood refers to condition of being an adolescent mother. Gallagher (2000) defined adolescent motherhood as young adult women who have their first child during their teen years. Adolescent motherhood could be referred to as kids having kids. That is children bearing child(ren) under what could be termed as early pregnancy. It is a concept that connotes female children between the ages of 13-19 having children. It is adolescent child bearing.

Some adolescents could be mothers as a result of unwanted pregnancy; early marriage, rape or some other sexual forces. Thus, adolescent motherhood could be classified into married and unmarried adolescent motherhood. Married adolescent motherhood is caused by early marriage. Some teen mothers engaged in forced early marriage (between the age of 13-18) which makes them to bear children too early in life. This kind of situation can be seen in some remote villages in Nigeria and is very predominant in the Northern states where early marriage practice is prevalent.

Unmarried adolescent motherhood on the other hand is a condition where the young girls are forced into family way through careless sexual relationship with the opposite sex usually out of wedlock. In Nigeria the mean age at first sexual intercourse is 15years (Nian, Minxiang & Ersheng, 1999) which is the age when most of them are in secondary school. Many teen mothers fall under the group of unmarried adolescent motherhood as result of rape, sexual pressure and poverty. Most of the unmarried adolescents got the first pregnancy when in secondary school. Thus this study centres on the adolescent motherhood of in-school adolescent mothers. Sexual relationship at an early age exposes young people to risks associated with sexual activity (Onwuezobe & Onwuezobe, 2011). Thus, the social, economic, and socio-cultural implications of unmarried adolescent motherhood mostly the in-school adolescent mothers are much. Gallagher believed that girls and young women aged 13-19 in this generation seem to be increasingly convinced that they are old enough to be mothers. However, this social situation of children bearing children is not without some challenges. Barber, Axinn and Thornton (1999) stated that adolescent mothers often experience multiple stressors, including decreased financial resources, physical exhaustion, task overload, role restriction and confusion; social isolation and depressive symptoms. According to Escoto-Lioyd (1999) adolescent motherhood is a major issue to modern families and households. Hence, one wonders what could be the causes of adolescent motherhood.

Early childbearing is increasing everywhere, is emerging as a serious problem in many countries and has reached alarming levels. It is associated with serious health, socio-economic and demographic implications for young women and their offsprings and indeed.....

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 82 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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