American Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities

Volume 4, Number 4 (2019) pp 559-570 doi 10.20448/801.44.559.570 | Research Articles

 

Social Factors and Students Attitude towards Adolescents’ Pregnancy: A Case Study of Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Archibong, Gertrude A 1 , James, Idopise O 1 
1 Department of Educational Foundation, Guidance and Counselling, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT

The study examined social factors and students’ attitude towards adolescent pregnancy, in Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Two research questions were raised and answered using descriptive statistics, and two null hypotheses were formulated and tested using t-test statistics at 0.05 level of significance. The study adopted an ex-post facto survey research design. The population comprised 2,961 Senior Secondary Two (SS2) students in the ten (10) public secondary schools in the area of the study. A sample of 328 SS2 students was selected statistically using Taro Yamane sampling procedure.  A proportionate random sampling technique was used to select 8 out 10, representing 80% in the area of study. The instrument used for data collection was the researchers’ developed questionnaire entitled, “Social Factors and Students Attitude towards Adolescent Pregnancy Questionnaire (SFSAAPQ)”. The study found a significant influence of social factor variables of peer relationship and parent-child sex education on students’ attitude towards adolescent pregnancy in the study area. It was concluded based on the findings that, social factor variables such as, peer relationship and parent-child sex education have significant influence on students’ attitude towards adolescence pregnancy in the study area. It was therefore recommended that, parents should educate their children on issues related to sex particularly at early stage of development so as to prepare them for any inappropriate sexual relationship that may lead to early pregnancy.

Keywords: Adolescent, Adolescents’ pregnancy, Peer relationship, Peer pressure Sex education, Sex initiation.

DOI: 10.20448/801.44.559.570

Citation | Archibong, Gertrude A; James, Idopise O (2019). Social Factors and Students Attitude towards Adolescents’ Pregnancy: A Case Study of Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. American Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 4(4): 559-570.

Copyright:This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Funding : study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

History : Received: 23 July 2019 / Revised: 4 September 2019 / Accepted: 11 October 2019 / Published: 6 November 2019 .

Publisher: Online Science Publishing

Highlights of this paper

  • Social factors are things that affects someone’s personality, attitudes and lifestyle; and has a significant role in the moral development of adolescents.
  • The role of peer relationship in the process of adolescents achieving academic success can be marred by using friends as reference point in premarital sexual engagement which often results in pregnancy.
  • The parents  have a significant role to play in giving sexuality education to adolescents that would prevent unexpected pregnancy.

1. INTRODUCTION

Adolescents’ pregnancy is a contemporary social menace affecting educational development in Nigeria. Pregnancy in a girl aged between 10 and 19 could be regarded as adolescents’ pregnancy. As noted by Mwaba (2000) more than 20,000 girls under age 18 gives birth everyday in developing countries. In Nigeria specifically,  Oransaye et al. (2002) observed that 11.8 percent incidence of adolescents’ pregnancy are reported mostly among secondary school students, and this percentage does not exempt Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. This is likely because young boys and girls often have difficulties in adjusting to life challenges and dealing with issues about sex especially during adolescence. They seem to be easily excited sexually because of the biological changes in their bodies, including production of sex hormones. Students at this stage are often bubbled with a lot of energy and want to be recognized and feel he/she can handle problems all alone and may not need the advice of older persons. The teenage years are when adolescents are expected to be in secondary schools in preparation for tertiary education where they can acquire knowledge and skills for development.  According to Creastas (2003) secondary school adolescents develop biological maturity earlier than in the past generations although they often do not reach psychological maturity and economic independence until much later.

Secondary school students’ sexual activities have been very strong and heterosexual activities are behavioural problems prevalent among students. Some of this behaviour includes sexual abuse, sex offences, sexual misconducts, sexual immorality, sexual promiscuity, and sexual maladjustment (Ogundale, 2007). According to Nicholas (2000) nine out of every ten male and female have had intercourse and most have had their first intercourse between aged 10 and 16 years. Ogbah (2006) added that more than 20 percent of girls in Nigeria are sexually active or have had sexual relationship at least once. Thus, involvement in such heterosexual activities mostly results in unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

Adolescent pregnancy has negative health and socio-economic consequences. Were (2007) stated that pregnancy complications

associated with adolescent pregnancy include hypertension, eclampsia, prolonged or premature labour, dysfunctional labour, pregnancy-related infections, postpartum hemorrhage, and premature rupture of membrane and higher rates of low birth weight babies. In addition, Pal et al. (2007) observed that teen mothers are at risk psychologically because they experience higher levels of stress, despair, depression, feelings of helplessness, low self esteem, a sense of personal failure among other things.

2. THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

2.1. Ajzen Theory of Reasoned Action (1975)

The theory of reasoned action (TRA) was proposed by Ajzen (1975). The main crux of the theory was that of establishing the link between attitude measures and performance of volitional behaviours. According to Ajzen, the components of TRA are three general constructs: Behavioural Intention (BI), Attitude (A), and Subjective Norm (SN), TRA suggests that a person’s behavioural intention depends on the person’s attitude about the behaviour and subjective norms (BI = A + SN). If a person intends to display a behaviour, then it is likely that the person will do it.

Behavioural intention measures a person’s relative strength of intention to perform a behaviour. Attitude consists of beliefs about the consequences of performing the behaviour multiplied by his or her valuation of these consequences. Subjective norm is seen as a combination of his or her valuation of these consequences. Subjective norm is seen as a combination of perceived expectations from relevant individuals or groups along with intentions to comply with these expectations. A person’s voluntary behaviour is predicted by his/her attitude toward that behaviour and how he/she thinks other people would view such behaviour. A person’s attitude, combined with subjective norms, forms his/her behavioural intention.

According to the theorist, individuals’ attitudes and norms are not weighted equally in predicting behaviour. Indeed, it depends on the individual and the situation that these factors might have different effects on behavioural intentions. For example, an individual might be the kind of person who cares little for what others think. If this is the case, the subjective norms would carry little weight in predicting your behaviour.
Ajzen (1975) explained the three components of Reasoned Action theory as follows:

(i)            Attitudes: This is the sum total of beliefs about a particular behaviour weighted by evaluations of these beliefs.
(ii)           Subjective Norms: This has to do with the influence of one’s social environment on his/her behavioural intentions; the beliefs of people, weighted by the importance one attributes to each of their opinions, will influence one’s behavioural intention.
(iii)          Behavioural Intention: This is a function of both attitudes toward behaviour and subjective norms toward that behaviour, which has been found to predict actual behaviour.

The related is related to this work in that it gives an outstanding prove that secondary school students’ attitude towards adolescent pregnancy is as a result of their subjective norms. For instance, a female student might prefer hugging and roaming round the street at night because she has observing other people including her fellow peers doing same. Such attitude may result in premarital sex, unwanted pregnancy as well as rape. Some may hold the beliefs that having sex out of wed-lock is the fastest way of making money, without considering the implications. All these beliefs and intentions may subsequently become reasoned action.

2.2. The Concept of Adolescent Pregnancy

Adolescents are young ones between the ages of 12 to 18, who are developing into adults. In contrary, Adegboyega (2006) defined an adolescent as a person that is between the ages of 12-16 years. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2002) an adolescent is a person within the age range of 10-19 years. Adolescence period is characterized by rapid physical growth and development with the attainment of secondary sexual characteristics taking place under the influence of sex hormones (Ogbah, 2006).

On this note, Onyechi (2001) defined adolescent pregnancy as a condition whereby a young girl of between the ages of 11 and 16 becomes pregnant when she is not yet legally married. Also, Rohey (2008) defined adolescent pregnancy as pregnancy that occurs at an early age mostly between the ages of 13 and 18. Sareer (2008) opined that adolescent pregnancy is a pregnancy by a adolescent between the ages of 13-19. The author further stated that it is a pregnancy which usually occurs during adolescence to a female child that has not completed her secondary school education. Adolescent pregnancy is pregnancy in a female 19 years of age or younger.

Ogbah (2006) asserted that adolescent pregnancy is pregnancy of unmarried female adolescents. The author added that the term adolescent pregnancy is the pregnancy of a woman between the ages of 13-19 years who is either pregnant or already gave birth. Therefore, adolescent pregnancy is a situation whereby a young girl becomes pregnant or gave birth or becomes a mother at tender age between 13-9 years. It is the pregnancy at the bloom of youth. However, whatever the definition may be, it is obvious that adolescent pregnancy is pregnancy of unmarried female adolescents.

2.3. Peer Relationship and Attitude Towards Adolescent Pregnancy

Peer relationship is particularly important and serves as alternative venue for adolescents to get rid of adult or parental control. It is another strong predictor of student sexual behaviour which could result in adolescent pregnancy.

Peers usually exert strong influence on their group members. They often pressure fellow group members to change his/her attitudes, values in order to conform to group norms (Kirk, 2000). According to Ryan (2000) peer pressure is found when people of similar age or age brackets ones encourage or urge other people of the same age bracket to do something they would not have done ordinarily. This is because as students begin to socialize with their peers, they tend to shift from values they learnt from home and accept the patterns of behaviour appreciated by their peers. A number of students see some of their peers as role models.

According to Ryan (2000) modeling could be described as individual changes in cognition, behaviour, or effects that result from the observation of others.

Observing other people behave or voice a certain opinion can introduce an individual to new behaviours and viewpoints that may be different from his or her own. Through observation, an individual may be enlightened on the consequences of a particular behaviour and opinions. Depending on these consequences, observation of a model can strengthen or weaken the likelihood that the observer will engage in such behaviour or adopt such beliefs in the future.

Peer pressure is paramount in students’ social relationship. This is true because it is human nature to feel the need to belong. Glidewell (2001) noted that everyone wants to be accepted by others in certain ways, especially growing children.

As a result of this need to belong, children make themselves think that they need to change their attitudes, behaviours, or beliefs in order to gain acceptance from others. Okafor and Nnoli (2009) stated that adolescents experience social acceptance when they conform to the rules governing their peer relation group. Some adolescents are lured into sexual relationship by their peers who may have experienced it in one way or the other. This is because during adolescence, close friends become increasingly important as reference points in guiding various behaviours, including sexual behaviour (Billy and Udry, 2005).

According to Kearney (2004) peer pressure influences children to do things they would not normally do, most of which are negative. Such include engagement in premarital sexual activities among female students which may result in adolescent pregnancy.

Young people get information about sex and sexuality from a wide range of sources, such as parents, teachers, through the media, magazines, books and websites, but Kearney (2004) observed that peer influence is one the most significant factors since it involves face-to-face contact with opposite sex. Akande and Akande (2007) noted that peers usually feed their mates with wrong information and ideas about sex which often predispose them into sex and pregnancy.

Studies have shown a strong correlation between peer pressure and attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy. One of the studies was conducted by Hammer and Bangers (2010).

The authors found that the most common reason for initiating sexual relations among female students’ adolescents was pressure from their peers; and that such sexual initiation resulted in adolescent pregnancy. In their quest for a sense of belonging and to avoid rejection by the group, the adolescents succumb to this pressure. Kiragu (2001) also found that young people whose friends are sexually active or who perceive their friends to be sexually active are more likely to be sexually active themselves. The author added that such sexual activeness often results in adolescents’ pregnancy.

2.4. Parent-Child Sex Education and Attitude towards Adolescent Pregnancy

Sex education is essential for students. According to Mueller (2008) sex education teaches students about sexual intimacy and also enlightens them on their reproductive systems, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases.

The author added sex education exposes them on gender identity, gender role, family role, body images, sexual expression, intimacy, marriage relationship and also helps a female adolescent understand how to guide herself from getting pregnant out of wed-lock. As noted by Abogunri (2004) educating young ones on sex-related issues and pregnancy by parents should take into account the development, growth, the anatomy and physiology of the human reproductive system as well as changes that occur from youth all through stages of adulthood.

Parents as the primary socializers of children are expected to be the key players in enlightening the children on issues about pregnancy. They are in a unique position to educate their children on healthy sexual habits so that they will not be exposed to early pregnancy.  Educating young ones on sex-related matters is very necessary because they are often inquisitive about things and would want to have knowledge about sex and other forms of emotional enticements.

When such information is not provided, young ones are likely to get it from elsewhere and in the wrong way, thereby, leading to the alarming rate of premarital sexual relationship and unwanted pregnancy among female students. This makes sexuality education a veritable tool for learning values of responsible sexual behaviour.

Sexuality education is a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs and values about gender towards building a strong foundation for sexual health (Obiunu, 2014).
According to Olayinka (1990) sexuality education is a process of making the individual develops a positive and wholesome attitude towards sex. Sexuality education takes place on a daily basis in homes, schools, religions institutions, and through the media.

Studies have shown that lack of education about sex from parents to children is a determinant to adolescent pregnancy among female students. One of such study was conducted by Lawgun and Ranthula (2010). The authors found that parents’ inability to provide or give adequate information about sexual behaviour is associated with students’ engagement in sexual risk-taking behaviour which often resulted in adolescent pregnancy.
Also, Fatusi and Blum (2008) added that adolescents’ premarital pregnancy in public is as a result of lack of parents’ early initiation of sex education to children at home; and that such condition is prevalent in Nigeria because of low educational levels of parents. The authors added that children from highly educated home and conducive environment are prone to display good behaviour conforming to acceptable norms and values of the society.

2.5. Statement of the Problem

Teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in females under the age of 20years.  In Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, the issue of teenage pregnancy has become prevalence among female students. As observed by the researcher, most female students have been engaging in heterosexual activities such as sexual abuse, sexual misconducts, sexual immorality/promiscuity which mostly resulted in unwanted pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy is a risk factor to students, as its increases students’ drop out, distress, unemployment, HIV/AIDs, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), pre-term baby, abortion among other things. This menace posed a serious problem to individual and societal growth.

In view of these challenges, the researcher observed that most teenagers still hold a positive attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy. Most female students believe that teenage pregnancy makes someone become independent, receive love, attention and recognition while others who hold a negative attitude believes that teenage pregnancy is detrimental to teenage mothers’ growth and development.    
Noticing the high rate of teenage pregnancy among adolescents in the study area, the Federal Government in collaboration with Federal and State Ministries of Health and Education, as well as academic researchers have been sensitizing the youths on negative effects of teenage pregnancy but the issue still persist.

Therefore, the present study sought to examine social factors and students’ attitude towards adolescent pregnancy, using Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State as a case study.

2.6. Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of the study was to examine the influence of social factors on students attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy in Abak Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. Specifically, the study sought to determine:

  1. The influence of peer relationship on students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.
  2. The influence of parents-child sex education on students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.

2.7. Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. How does peer relationship influence students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy?
  2. How does parents-child sex education influence students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy?

2.8. Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

  1. Peer relationship does not significantly influence students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.
  2. Parents-child sex education does not significantly influence students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.

2.9. Delimitation of the Study

The study was delimited to social factors and students attitude towards adolescent pregnancy in Abak Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. Social factors under-studied are peer relationship and parents-child sex education. Specifically, the study was delimited to only public secondary schools in the study area; and only Senior Secondary Two (SS2) students were selected in the 2017/2018 academic session.

3. RESEARCH METHOD

3.1. Design of the Study

The study adopted an ex-post facto research design. It is a systematic empirical study in which the researcher does not in any way control or manipulates independent variables because the situation for study has already existed or has taken place (Ndiyo, 2005). This research design is appropriate because adolescent pregnancy is an issue that has taken place overtime in the study area. 

3.2. Population of the Study

The population of the study comprised all 2,961 Senior Secondary Two (SS2) students in the ten (10) public secondary schools that make up the study area (Department of Planning and Research Statistics (DPRS), 2018).

3.3. Sample and Sampling Technique

A sample of 328 SS2 students was selected from the total population of 2,961 students found in the study area.  The sample size was determined statistically using Taro Yamane sampling procedure. Purposive random sampling technique was used to select 8 public secondary schools out of 10. Forty one (41) students were selected from each school, which gave a total of 328 sampled respondents.

3.4. Instrumentation

The researcher developed and validated questionnaire entitled “Social Factors and Students Attitude towards Adolescent Pregnancy Questionnaire (SFSAAPQ)” was used for data collection. The items were framed in line with the research questions and hypotheses. The instrument has three parts.

The bio-data part was section (A), section (B) contained 10 items on social factors while section (C) has 8 items on measuring attitude of secondary school students towards adolescent pregnancy. The respondents were required to tick from a list of options as individuals, using a four-point rating scale of Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D) and Strongly Disagree (SD).

3.5. Validation of the Instrument

To ensure the content validity of the instrument, copies of the instrument was given to two validates. One of them was a sociology lecturer while the other two were lecturers from Measurement and Evaluation Unit of Department of Educational Foundations, Guidance and Counselling, University of Uyo. The purpose for giving them the instrument was to assess the suitability or otherwise of the items in the instrument.

3.6. Reliability of the Instrument

To ascertain the reliability index of the instrument, Cronbach Alpha reliability method was used. The instrument was pilot-tested on 30 Senior Secondary Two (SS2) students who were not part of the sample but were part of the study area.

Data were collated and divided into equal half’s. The data was subjected to correlation and Cronbach Alpha reliability formular was applied for test of internal consistency of the instrument. This yielded the reliability co-efficient of 0.79 for items in section B and 0.83 for items in section C. This instrument was considered reasonable for the current research work because according to Nunnally (2007) any instrument that has the reliability co-efficient of 0.50 and above should be accepted.

3.7. Method of Data Collection

The research instruments were personally administered on the respondents in their respective schools by the researcher together with two research assistants.

3.8. Method of Data Analysis

Mean and Standard Deviation was used in answering the research questions while t-test was used for testing of hypotheses all at .05 level of significance and at 327 degree of freedom.

4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

4.1. Research Questions 1

How does peer relationship influence students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy in Abak Local Government Area?

Table-1. Item by item mean responses on peer relationship and students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.
S/N
Items
Mean( )
S.D
Remark
1
My friends usually share discussion about sex in school.
2.79
0.62
Agreed
2
Whenever I tell my friends that I am a virgin, they usually make jest of me.
3.39
0.49
Agreed
3
My friends usually encourage one another to have sexual partner.
3.59
0.49
Agreed
4
Because I do not have sexual partner, my friends usually refuse to associate with me.
2.94
0.36
Agreed
5
My friends usually tell me that premarital sex is enjoyable.
3.25
0.74
Agreed
Grand mean
3.19
0.54
Agreed

Source: N = 328: study subjects.

Data in Table 1 shows the mean of responses on the influence of peer relationship on students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy. The mean of 2.79 with SD 0.62 for item 1 indicates that the respondents agreed that their friends usually share discussion about sex in school.

The mean of 3.39 with SD 0.49 for item 2 shows that the respondents accept the fact that, whenever they tell their friends about being a virgin, they usually make jest of them. Also, the mean of 3.59 with SD 0.49 for item 3 reveals that, the respondents agreed to have been encouraged by their friends to have sexual partners.

The mean of 2.94 and 3.25 with SD 0.36 and 0.74 for items 4 and 5 shows that the respondents all agreed on the 2 items. However, the grand mean of 3.19 with SD 0.54 was obtained, which implies that students attitude towards adolescent pregnancy is influenced by peer relationship, since peers usually persuade and share ideas about sex with one another (especially their mates).

4.2. Research Question 2

How does parents-child sex education influence students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy in Abak Local Government Area?

Data in Table 2 shows the mean of students’ responses on the influence of parents-child sex education on students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy. The mean of 2.21 with SD 0.73 for item 6 indicates that the respondents disagreed about their parents often discussing sexual-related matters with them. The mean of 3.23 with SD 0.60 for item 7 indicates that the respondents agreed that information regarding sex provided by their parents’ enable them behave well with opposite sex. The mean of 3.11 with SD 0.69 for item 8 reveals that the respondents agreed to have known that it is not right to have sex when not yet married to avoid getting pregnant. The mean of 2.61 and 2.56 with SD 0.76 and 0.79 respectively for items 9 and 10 shows that the respondents all agreed on the 2 items. However, the grand mean of 2.74 with SD 0.75 was obtained from all the items, which implies that students’ attitude towards adolescent’s pregnancy is highly determined by the extent to which they received information from parents about sex-related matters.

Table-2. Item by item mean responses on parents-child sex education and students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.
S/N
Items
Mean( x )
S.D
Remark
6
My parent often discusses sexual-related matters with me.
2.21
0.73
Disagreed 
7
Information regarding sex provided by my parents’ enable me know how to behave with opposite sex.
3.23
0.60
Agreed
8
I know that it is not right to have sex when not yet married to avoid getting pregnant.
3.11
0.69
Agreed
9
Sexual relationship out of marital relationship could tarnish one’s image.
2.61
0.76
Agreed
10
Early sexual engagement could result in adolescent pregnancy.
Grand mean
2.56
2.74
0.97
0.75
Agreed
Agreed

Source: N = 328: study subjects.

4.3. Testing of Hypotheses

4.3.1. Hypothesis 1

Ho1: Peer relationship does not significantly influence students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.

Table-3. Summary of t-test analysis of  the influence of peer relationship on students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.
Variable
Mean ( )
S.D
t-cal
t-crit              Decision
Peer relationship
13.35
2.10
14.36
1.97           Rejected Ho
Students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy
15.44
1.91

N= 328   * significant at P< .05, df = 327, t-critical value = 1.97.

Result in Table 3 indicates that the t-cal of 14.36 is greater than the t-crit of 1.97 at .05 level of significant and at 327 degree of freedom. Hence the null hypothesis is rejected while the alternative hypothesis is retained. This means that peer relationship has significant influence on students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy. This implies that young people whose friends are sexually active are most likely to be initiated into sex which could result in adolescents’ pregnancy.

4.3.2. Hypothesis 2

Ho2: Parents-child sex education does not significantly influence students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.

Table-4. Summary of t-test analysis of the influence of parents-child sex education on students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy.
Variable
Mean ( )
S.D
t-cal
t-crit              Decision
Parents-child sex education
14.48
1.87
11.07
1.97                Rejected Ho
Students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy
15.44
1.91

N= 328  * significant at P< .05, df = 327, t-critical value = 1.97.

Result in Table 4 indicates that the t-cal of 11.07 is greater than the t-crit of 1.97 at .05 level of significant and at 327 degree of freedom. Hence, the null hypothesis is rejected while the alternative hypothesis is retained. This means that parent-child sex education has significant influence on students’ attitude towards adolescents’ pregnancy. This implies that students’ are most likely to withdraw from sexual relationship which often resulted in adolescent pregnancy if they received adequate information from parents about sex and vice versa.

5. DISCUSSION OF THE FINDING

The findings of the study are presented based on the null hypotheses tested.

5.1. Peer Relationship and Attitude of Secondary School Students towards Adolescent Pregnancy

Result from hypothesis one showed a significant influence of peer relationship on attitude of secondary school students towards adolescent pregnancy in Abak Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. This finding is in tandem with the finding of the study conducted by Hammer and Bangers (2010).

The authors found that the most common reason for initiating sexual relations among female students’ adolescents was pressure from their peers; and that such sexual initiation resulted in adolescent pregnancy. In their quest for a sense of belonging and to avoid rejection by the group, the adolescents succumb to this pressure. Kiragu (2001) also found that young people whose friends are sexually active or who perceive their friends to be sexually active are more likely to be sexually active themselves. From the above finding, the research wishes to observe that the kind of discussion raised among peers regarding sex could influence students’ attitude toward adolescent pregnancy.

5.2. Parent-Child Sex Education and Attitude of Secondary School Students towards Adolescent Pregnancy

Result from hypothesis two showed a significant influence of parents-child sex education on attitude of secondary school students towards adolescent pregnancy in Abak Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. This finding is line with the finding of the study conducted by Lawgun and Ranthula (2010).

The authors found that parents’ inability to provide or give adequate information about sexual behaviour is associated with students’ engagement in sexual risk-taking behaviour which often resulted in adolescent pregnancy. Also, Fatusi and Blum (2008) added that adolescent pregnancy in public schools is as a result of lack of parents’ early initiation of sex education to children at home; and that such condition is prevalent in Nigeria because of low educational levels of parents. The authors added that children from highly educated home and conducive environment are prone to display good behaviour which conforms to acceptable norms and values of the society. From the above finding, the researcher wishes to observe that students attitude towards adolescent pregnancy is determine by parent-child sex education.

6.CONCLUSION

From the findings of the study, it was concluded that peer relationship, parent-child sex education and exposure to pornographic materials have strong influence on attitude of secondary school students towards adolescent pregnancy in Abak Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.

7.RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were put forward:

  1. Parents should begin the teaching of sex education at the early stage of children’s development so as to prepare the child for any inappropriate sexual relationship that may lead to pregnancy.
  2. Parents and teachers should always advice their children to share positive discussions among peers at school regarding sex and caution their wards on the type of friends they keep in other to avoid inappropriate sexual behaviours that may result in pregnancy.

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About the Authors

Archibong, Gertrude A
Department of Educational Foundation, Guidance and Counselling, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria.
James, Idopise O
Department of Educational Foundation, Guidance and Counselling, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria.

Corresponding Authors

Archibong, Gertrude A

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