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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Teenage Pregnancy and Motherhood in a Ghanaian Community
Authors:Keller, E.T.
Hilton, D.B.
Twumasi-Ankrah, K.
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Women and Their Children
Medicine, Nutrition, Public Health
Birth control
Poverty alleviation
social problems
Abstract:For the United States, it has been reported that teenage pregnancy and childbirth are disproportionately common among the poor, and the culture of poverty perspective evokes such detrimental images as early exposure to sexual activity, lack of sex education, weak parental control and supervision, peer pressure, low self-esteem, and the need for self-fulfillment. Using data collected from personal interviews with fifteen teenage girls who were either pregnant or new mothers, and their mothers or guardians, in Odumasi, Ashanti area in Ghana, in 1995, and a focus group discussion with ten prominent members of the community, the authors assess the extent to which the American data can be generalized to the Ghanaian situation. They found that, as in the United States, teen pregnancies in Ghana reflected early initiation into sexual activity and little effort on the part of teens to prevent pregnancy, despite knowledge about birth control. Another pattern similar to the US was the relationship between poverty and teenage pregnancy and the role of adult males as fathers. However, contrary to the American findings, peer pressure did not emerge as a major factor in teenage pregnancies in Ghana, nor was childbirth a source of self-esteem, as most of the girls reported positive self-esteem prior to the pregnancy. Bibliogr., sum.