Teen Pregnancy- An Epidemic
The United States and the United Kingdom are known to have high teenage pregnancy rates as compared to the other countries. The aim of this research is studying teen pregnancy as an epidemic in the society. The researchers were studying psychological impacts of teenage pregnancy on pregnant teenagers (Edzisani 1). This study had no research hypothesis, it only sought to study teenage pregnancy and the interventions were undertaken to address the social disadvantage associated with the epidemic. The phenomenon of teen pregnancy has been more disruptive in the contemporary society for decades. The null hypothesis of the study was, “pregnant teenagers experience psychological distress in form of anxiety, social isolation, insomnia and depressions that differ with the difference in demographic factors.” The alternative hypothesis of the study was the reverse of the null hypothesis.
The subject of the study was pregnant teenagers. Non-probability sampling was convenient in obtaining the study participants. This sampling technique involved choosing participants based on their availability and willingness to get involved in the study. In this study, fifty-two (52) pregnant teenagers were chosen and participated in the study. The participants’ ages ranged between fifteen to twenty (15-20) years whose pregnancy period ranged from four to nine (4-9) months.
Type of Study
Descriptive research was used in this study, the researchers sought to describe the impacts of early pregnancy on the teenagers. The researchers attempted to understand the varying attributes and feelings of the 52 participants who formed the study group. In this study, the researcher used various research methods such as interviews, case studies, surveys, and observational methods in data collection that could be analyzed. (Edzisani 33) The researcher here used all these methods in gathering participants’ data about the challenges of teen pregnancy and their behavior towards emotional independence.
In this study, there were no independent and dependent variables since it was purely based on descriptive research method. If the researchers adopted an experimental research method, then formulation of dependent and independent variables would be necessary for forming a conclusion.
The study used both quantitative and qualitative research methods of data collection and measurement. Based on the topic under investigation, the study was descriptive and correlational in nature. The quantitative approach enabled the researchers to present data in a manner that was quantifiable whilst qualitative approach enabled the researchers to address the phenomenon under investigation in a sense that incorporates all participants’ ideas in the study (Edzisani 30). The qualitative approach helped in describing and analyzing the behavior of teenagers when they are pregnant as well as the culture of their groups’ point of view on early pregnancies. Focus group interviews were used in the qualitative approach.
Under quantitative measurement approach, self-administered questionnaires were used in assessing anxiety and insomnia, depression rates, social isolation impacts, and somatic symptoms. The 52 participants responded by making a choice among statement that described their relevant experience in accordance with the factor under assessment. Four options were available for participants to respond whose values ranged from 0-3.
Results and Conclusions of the Study
Fifty-two pregnant teenagers participated in this study. Eighteen (18) participants were at the college level while 34 were in secondary schools. Length of pregnancy, age, and level of education impacted on the somatic complaints by the participants. Reports on three age groups (15-16 years, 17-18 years, and 19-20 years) on the somatic complaints experiences were recorded. No significant difference in participants experience on somatic issues recorders in the three age groups (p = 0.72, df = 0.42, F = 0.33). However, oldest teenagers (19-20) reported more somatic complaints than the younger groups (15 to 16; mean = 4.50, 17 to 18; mean = 5.53). Participants at high school (mean = 5.79) experienced less somatic complaints than those teenagers at the college level (mean = 6.00). There was a significant difference between the 2nd and 3rd trimester in the pregnancy periods since girls at their 3rd trimester reported relatively higher rates of somatic complaints (Mean = 6.05) as compared to those in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy (Mean = 5.71).
The researcher used a descriptive method of research in conducting the study. Quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed in exploring the phenomenon under investigation. The study reviewed teenage pregnancy impacts and the psychological challenges associated with early pregnancies on the girl child. The study revealed that the unpleasant consequences of teen pregnancy continue to increase from one day to another. The rationale for the utilization of descriptive method and triangulation (qualitative and quantitative) in the study was to enable the researchers to explore teen pregnancy in detail (Edzisani 28). Questionnaire responses from the participants intended to determine the variance in the experience of psychological distress. Focus group interviews were designed to provide an in-depth examination of the quantitative attributes of the study.
Part 2: Article Critique
The study had strengths. The data gathered through focus groups and questionnaires allowed the researchers to adopt a multifaceted approach to data collection. Also, a large amount of data was collected from the 52 participants that helped the researchers in answering the questions of the research.
If I had conducted the study, I would have asked participants the following questions;
- How do you react when you discover that you are pregnant?
- How did you cope or how are you coping with pregnancy?
- In your opinion, what are the psychological challenges related to teen pregnancies?
- What forces teenagers to early pregnancy?
- Do you feel depressed during teenage pregnancy and why?
However, the study was faced with various limitations and weaknesses. The researchers used descriptive research method which does not stress on causality hence making it difficult for the researcher to exercise control over the study population.
Also, the study was purely exploratory. As a result, the sampling method and sample size utilized by the researcher could not allow for findings generalization about the society at large. The sample size (52 participants) was too small and not diverse enough and this limited the researcher from collecting sufficient and appropriate data to realize the study objectives effectively.
Further, in the study, there could arise possible chances of random responses at the time when the participants were filling in the questionnaires. The administration of questionnaires to obtain quantitative data is subjective since incidents of participants not responding to the questionnaires with keenness and accuracy were reported. Some participants could also not pay close attention to the questions being asked by the researchers.
Furthermore, using focus group interviews in the qualitative method may have derailed participants’ ability to relate to the appraised by keen participants, thus limiting the explorative and descriptive study nature as used. Participants in the focus study groups bear in mind different ideas and perceptions of teen pregnancy based on their past and present experiences.
Edzisani, Egnes S. “Psychological Impact of Teenage Pregnancy on Pregnant Teenagers.” (2009). pp. 1-104. Retrieved from: http://ulspace.ul.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10386/325/Research%20Dessertation%20of%20Edzisani%20Egnes%20Sodi.pdf?sequence=1