Experiences and coping mechanisms of adolescent mothers and intervention programmes to reduce adolescent pregnancy in Lower Manya Krobo Municipality, Ghana.
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- Master theses 
Background Adolescent pregnancy is a global health and social challenge and is most prevalent in low- and middle-income countries. The high prevalence of adolescent pregnancy in these countries is strongly associated with poverty, child marriage and limited access to and knowledge of reproductive health services and contraceptives. The risk of maternal mortality, exposure to sexually transmitted diseases, school dropout and limited employment opportunities are some of the stressors associated with adolescent pregnancy. Objectives The primary objectives of this study is to explore the individual experiences and coping strategies of adolescent mothers as well as measures implemented to reduce the risk of pregnancy among adolescent girls in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of Ghana. This area has persistently witnessed a high prevalence of adolescent pregnancy over the last couple of decades. Theoretical framework The study was guided by the theory of salutogenesis which focuses on factors that move people towards positive health and well-being and their Sense of Coherence (SOC) that strengthens their ability to identify and use resources. Methodology The study adopted a qualitative methodological approach with a phenomenological strategy. The sampling of research participants was done using a combination of purposive and snowball sampling methods. A total of 26 participants were recruited for the study. This include 14 primary participants (adolescent mothers) and 12 key informants. Data collection was done using in-depth interviews and thematic network analysis was used to analyse the research data. Findings The research findings identified several risk factors and stressors that contributed to the prevalence of adolescent pregnancy and adversely affected the well-being of adolescent mothers in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality. These included poverty, parental neglect, sexual abuse, lack of role models, cultural norms, single parenting, pregnancy and delivery-related stressors, abortion-related stressors, low educational attainment and emotional stressors. The availability of hospitals and community health centres, the national health insurance scheme, activities of NGOs, social network, a friendly school environment and the general economic environment were identified as useful resources that adolescent mothers relied on to enable them to cope with the stressors of teenage motherhood. School-based and community reproductive health education programmes that mostly focused on abstinence, sex and reproductive health education and contraceptive use were also identified as some of the interventions targeted at reducing adolescent pregnancy in this area. To improve on the current intervention programmes, a number of recommendations were made with reference to the research findings. These include a wider stakeholder approach to programme design and implementation as well as expending resources to addressing the underlying socioeconomic factors that are contributing to the high prevalence of adolescent pregnancy in this area. Conclusion The study concluded that the prevalence of adolescent pregnancy and its associated consequences in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality is a combination of several social, cultural and economic factors. These factors are also a reflection of the uneven distribution of wealth within the society as most pregnant adolescent girls are from very poor backgrounds. Applying the resource-based approach as advocated by the salutogenic theory, it emerged that adolescent mothers were able to cope with their stressful situation and improve their well-being. Those who understood their life situation and were willing to invest their time and energy were able to identify and use resources at their disposal.