Teenage Pregnancy

Topics: Human sexual behavior, Pregnancy, Sexual intercourse Pages: 25 (8681 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Macleod, C.I., & Tracey, T. (2010). A decade later: follow-up review of South African research on the consequences of and contributory factors in teen-aged pregnancy. South African Journal of Psychology, 40(1), pp. 18-31.

A decade later: follow-up review of South African research on the consequences of and contributory factors in teen-aged pregnancy

Catriona Ida Macleod* and Tiffany Tracey

*Corresponding author

Psychology Department Rhodes University P O Box 94 Grahamstown 6140 Tel: (046)6038500 Fax: (946)6224032 E- mail: c.macleod@ru.ac.za

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we review South African research conducted in the last 10 years on the consequences of and contributory factors in teen-aged pregnancy. We discuss research into the rates of teen-aged pregnancy, the intentionality and wantedness of pregnancy, the disruption of schooling, health issues, consequences for the children, welfare concerns, knowledge and use of contraception, timing of sexual debut, age of partner, coercive sexual relations, cultural factors and health service provision. We compare this discussion to the reviews on the same topic appearing in the South African Journal of Psychology a decade ago. We find that there are several changes in focus in the research on pregnancy amongst young women. We conclude that, in general, there has been an improvement in the breadth of data available, mostly as a result of representative national and local surveys. A better teasing

out of nuances around particular issues and a grappling with theoretical issues are also evident in recent research.

Key words: adolescents; pregnancy; teenage pregnancy

INTRODUCTION

A decade ago, Macleod (1999a, 1999b) presented a comprehensive review of South African research on the consequences of teen-aged pregnancy and its „causes‟. Now we return to research on these issues, highlighting changes in approach and new issues that have emerged in the literature in the last 10 years. We include in this review research on current rates of teen-aged pregnancy and termination of pregnancy (TOP), and questions of the intentionality and wantedness of pregnancy, which were absent in Macleod (1999a, 1999b). Following on from this we discuss research on the outcomes of early reproduction, including the disruption of schooling, health issues, consequences for the children and welfare concerns. We explore research on factors that may contribute to teen-aged pregnancy, such as knowledge and use of contraception, timing of sexual debut, age of partner, risky sexual behaviour, coercive sexual relations, cultural factors and health service provision. We conclude by drawing attention to the major shifts in research in this area. We have excluded research that does not speak directly to the consequences and causes of teen-aged pregnancy (for example, we excluded reference to several publications by Macleod and colleagues in which teen-aged pregnancy is viewed through the lens of post-structural feminism), as well as research contained within unpublished theses. We included peer review published research, national surveys, and input to the Human Sciences Research Council‟s round table on teenage pregnancy. The information contained in this paper was collected from a range of search engines, including the Index of South African Periodicals (ISAP), South African ePublications, South African Bibliographic Network (SABINet), Academic Search Premier, SocIndex with Full Text, PsycINFO, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, and Educational Resource Information Centre (ERIC).

RATES OF PREGNANCY

National statistics paint an interesting picture that negates the popular opinion that rates of teen-aged pregnancy and childbearing are burgeoning. The 1998 South African Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS) (Department of Health, 2002) indicated that 35% of women had had a child by the age of 19 years, while in the 2003 SADHS survey (Department of Health, 2007) this had decreased to...
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