Determinants of adolescent pregnancy: a case-control study in the Amenfi West District, Ghana

Thumbnail Image
AUGUST, 2016
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Globally, about 11% of all births occur to mothers between 15-19 years with over 95% occurring in developing countries. The consequences of adolescent pregnancies are very disheartening with respect to their physical and mental well-being, education and economic progress. The health burden of teen pregnancy is very huge with increased maternal mortality and morbidity including obstetric fistulae, complicated induced abortions, preterm labour and sexually transmitted infections among others. Despite the fact that the burden of adolescent pregnancy is huge in rural settings, little is known with regards to what its predictors are. This study looked at the determinants of adolescent pregnancy in the Amenfi West district, Ghana and its prevalence. The study used a case-control approach that sampled 80 cases and 220 controls to find out the association between the dependent variable adolescent pregnancy and the independent variables such as socioeconomic status, contraceptive knowledge /use, responsible parenthood and peer influence. The cases were defined as any girl between 10-19 years (W.H.O) who is currently pregnant or delivered not more than two years preceding the study. The controls were adolescent girls who have never been pregnant. The study showed that being in school, coming from a wealthy household, contraceptive use at sex debut, parental monitoring of the adolescents’ wherabouts at night, and the ability of the adolescent to talk to parents about relationships with the opposite sex offered significant protection against adolescent pregnancy (p<0.05). The factors that predisposed adolescents to pregnancy were ; being in the late adolescent age group 15-19 years , violent parental attitude towards boy/girl relationship , demanding financial support from adolescents for house upkeep and one’s friend ever been pregnant. Government should endeavor to introduce more social interventions to improve the living conditions of the poor and parents must do well to win the confidence of their wards. Contraceptive promotion and infrastructural development should be given the necessary attention by all stakeholders.
A thesis submitted to the department of population, family and reproductive health, College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Health in Population, Family & Reproductive Health,