Poor Parenting: Teenagers’ Views on Adolescent Pregnancies in Eastern Uganda

Richard Sekiwunga, Susan Reynolds Whyte

Abstract

In Uganda teenage pregnancy is considered a problem for moral and social, as well as health, reasons. This qualitative study in Busia District focused on the views of teenagers themselves as expressed in 9 focus group discussions with girls and boys. Their perspectives were contrasted with those of community leaders and mothers of adolescents. The young people blamed teenage pregnancy on failures of the parental generation. They asserted that parents and guardians were both too lenient and too harsh, that they failed to provide for their daughters’ needs, and that they pressured them into early marriages instead of giving priority to education. Although poverty and family breakdown were recognized as underlying structural causes of parental failure, the teenagers experienced these factors in their everyday lives as problems with their parents and guardians. The teenagers expressed the ‘enlightened’ view that adolescent pregnancy was undesireable, even though many girls have few alternatives to marriage and childbearing (Afr J Reprod Health 2009; 13[4]:113-127).

 

RĖSUMĖ

 

Mauvaise éducation des enfants : Les opinions des adolescents sur la grossesse chez les adolescentes en Ouganda de l’est. En Ouganda, on considère que la grossesse chez les adolescentes est un problème pour des raisons morales, sociales aussi bien que de la santé.  Cette étude qualitative menée dans le District de Busia est concentrée sur les opinions des adolescents eux-mêmes comme elles ont été exprimées dans 9 discussions à groupe cible avec les filles et les garçons. Nous avons mis leurs opinions en contraste avec celles des chefs de la communauté et les mères des adolescents.  Les jeunes gens ont rejetté la responsabilité de la grossesse chez les adolescentes sur le dos des parents. Ils affirment que les parents et les gardiens étaient à la fois trop indulgents et trop sévères qu’ils ont échoue dans leur responsabilité de fournir ce dont leurs filles ont besoin et qu’ils ont mis la pression sur les filles pour qu’elles se marient tôt au lieu de donner la priorité à l’éducation.  Bien que la pauvreté et la rapture dans la vie familiale ont été reconnues comme étant des causes structurales qui sous-tendent l’échec parental, les adolescents vivent ces expériences quotidiennement comme des problèmes avec leurs parents et leurs gardians.  Les adolescents ont exprimé cette opinion éclairée que la grossesse chez les adolescentes était indésirable, bien que beaucoup de filles ont peu d’alternatifs au mariage et à la maternité (Afr J Reprod Health 2009; 13[4]:113-127).

 

 

 

KEYWORDS: Parental care, adolescent pregnancies, Uganda 

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