Teenage pregnancy and its effects on the mental health of girls in Tiko municipality

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

 Teenage pregnancy and its effects on the mental health of girls in Tiko municipality

Department: Educational Psychology
No of Pages: 121
Project Code: EPY2
References: Yes
Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian
        : $15 for International students


The purpose of this study was to establish the effects of Teenage Pregnancy on the Mental Health of Girls in Tiko Municipality. The study adopted a survey research design. The researcher used a self-made questionnaire which were both open and closed questions to measure the research items. 

Purposive sampling methods were used to select respondents. The sample was determined by the use of Krejcie and D. W. Morgan (1970) Sample Size Estimation Table. 70 questionnaires were administered. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze data. 

The quantitative data were descriptively analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) using frequency mean and percentages. Descriptive statistics were used to present the percentages of the demographic data and the variables. In terms of inferential statistics, the Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to determine the relationship between the variables. 

The findings of the study revealed that self-image and mental health (r=0.439, p value=0.003), parental support (r=0.4442, p value =0.003) and mental health both had a moderate positive correlation since self-image, parental support both increased with an increasing mental Health and decreased as it decreased. It also shows that there is a significant relationship since the P value < 0.05.  

Meanwhile, there is absolutely no correlation between social support and mental health (r=0.078, p value=0.621) since the correlation is closer to zero and the significance level is zero. Based on these findings, it is evident that teenage pregnancy has effect on the mental health of girls of Tiko Municipality. 

From the above findings, the researcher recommends that there is a serious need for a talk with pregnant teenagers and their parents concerning their self-image and relationship they build respectively.




Teenage pregnancy also known as adolescence pregnancy is a call for concern worldwide. Pregnant teenagers face many of the same health there are additional concerns for those under the age of 15 as they are less likely to be physically developed to sustain healthy pregnancy-related issues as other women. 

There are additional concerns for those under the age of 15 as they are less likely to be physically developed to sustain a healthy pregnancy. For girls aged 15-19, the risk is associated more with socioeconomic factors than with the biological effects of age. The risk of low birth weight, premature labor, anaemia, and pre-eclampsia is connected to biological age.

It is said that the combination of educational intervention and access to birth control can reduce unintended teenage pregnancies. This social problem remains a major determining factor of maternal and child ill-health issues as well as morality and to vicious cycle of poverty. 

World estimate in 2008 reports about 10 million births to adolescent mothers, most of them occurring in low and middle income countries. In Cameroon, about 12% of all the births are to adolescent mothers.

According to the U.S department of health and human services, there were about 250,000 babies born in 2014 to teen moms. About 77% of these pregnancies were unplanned. In 2015, about 47 females per 1000 had children well under the age of 20. Rates are higher in Africa and lower in Asia. 

In the developing world about 2.5 million females 15-19 year old have children each year. Another 3.9 million have abortions and are more common in rural than urban areas for example Muea, Maumu, Ekona, Tiko just to name few all in the southwest region of Cameroon. Worldwide, complications related to pregnancies are the most common cause of deaths among female teens.

 A teenage pregnancy can change the course of a young mom’s life. It puts her in a place where she is responsible not only for herself but also another human being. Carrying a baby and becoming a mom not only creates physical changes. Women also go through mental changes. Young mothers face added stress from;

  • Sleepless night.
  • Arranging Child care.
  • Making doctor’s appointments
  • Attempting to finish high school.

The research study published in the journal studied more than 6000 Canadian women ranging in age 15-19, who experienced postpartum depression at a rate that was twice as high as women aged 25 and older. 

Another study reported that, women faced significant levels of stress that then lead to increased level of health concerns. In addition to the higher rates of postpartum depression, teenage mothers have higher rates of depression.

They also have higher rates of suicidal ideation than their peers who aren’t mothers. Teen mothers are most likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The world health organization (W.H.O) has also established that; each year approximately 21 million girls who are aged 15-19 years are 2 million girls who are aged under 15 years become pregnant in developing countries.  In the same light, an estimate of 16 million girls are aged 15-19 years and 2.5 million girls under the age 16 years give birth in these developing countries of the world.

Though the global adolescent birth rate has reduced from 65 births/1000 women in 1990 to 47 birth/1000 women in 2015, there is still a huge public health gap to fill. As the population of adolescent girls continues to grow probability model indicates the number of adolescent pregnancies will increase globally by the year 2030. 

Adolescent girls are more vulnerable and are growing up in a context marked by limited sensitization to this population, limited educational opportunities, weak social control, pervasive poverty, etc.

Background of the Study

From a historical viewpoint, teenage pregnancies are nothing new. Teenage pregnancies were considered as normal and socially accepted in the previous century and even during the twentieth century in Europe. 

This kind of reproductive behavior was socially desired and considered according wasnormal. It is documented that Hildegard of Vinzgouw, the second wife of Charlemagne, was about 14 years old when she delivered her first son in 772AD. 

Another prominent example is Margaret Beauford, who was only 13 years old when she gave birth to Henry VII of England in 1457. Margaret Beauford’s grandchild gave birth to her first child before her 19th birthday. Childbirth during the second decades of life is quite common even today. According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O), teenage or adolescent pregnancy is a pregnancy occurring in girls aged 10-19.

In 2008, there was much debate concerning the early pregnancy of Bristol Palin, the daughter of Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate of the United States. World estimate still in 2008 reports about 16 million births to adolescent mothers, most of them occurring in low and middle income countries.


Pregnancies during early adolescence (girls under the age of 15), however, have always been rare. This was mainly due to the biological fact that, reproductive maturities were experienced much later in historical times than today. Furthermore, sexual activities of girls and young women were mainly related to marriage until the second half of the twentieth century. 

Today the first sexual activity is initiated at a much younger age, the use of contraceptive among this age group is very low and the risk associated to this early pregnancy is very high. Therefore, the probability of pregnancies during teenage age increased worldwide during the second half of the twentieth century. About 11% of girls worldwide are still aged 15-19years old. 

According to the world health statistics 2014 the average global birthrate among 15-19nyear old girls is 49 per 1000 girls, whereas country rates range from 1 to 299 births per 1000 girls. Rates were highest in sub-saharan Africa. 

Sigh reported that, 8-15% of girls in Cameroon, Liberia, Malawi, Niger and Nigeria has given birth before their 15th birthday. Pregnancy and birth among teenage girls are extremely risky, nevertheless, in some societies; it is still common that girls become pregnant during their teenage age.

Conceptually, our mental wellbeing is dynamic. It can change from moment to moment, day after day. It is how we react to life up and down. The way pregnant teenagers will react to the idea of them being pregnant and being future moms will always differ from how adult moms will react. 

Their ways of handling situations or difficulty is different from how mature people will and this call for my concern as they need to be well educated about issues like this. Most times, pregnancy with teenage leads to ill health of mother and child.

Since the world health organization (WHO) first introduces the concept in 1948, many different definitions of mental wellbeing have been presented. The concept is pertinent to a wide range of disciplines like psychology, all of which have a slightly different take on its relating to underlying beliefs, attitudes, and practice. 

Mental health is a state of wellbeing in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her own community. Resilience-as in being able to cope with the normal stress of life is an important component of most definitions of mental well-being,, with great relevance for the prevention of mental illness.

Psychological wellbeing has to do with how people evaluate their lives. Diener (1997). This evaluation may be in the form of cognition or in the form of effect. Research on psychological wellbeing has identified six important components which include Autonomy, Healthy relationships, competences, self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life. Wellbeing is a measure of social progress and arguably, the goal of good government and charitable activities.

This research will make use of theories like Erik Erikson's theory of Development, Fritz Heider Balance theory. It is in this light that the effect of teenage pregnancy on mental health and how it can be avoided among adolescent in the Tiko Municipality became a major concern.

Contextually, teenage pregnancy constitutes a public health problem in Africa especially in Cameroon. 12% and 9.3% of all deliveries at the university teaching hospitals (CHU) and central hospital Yaoundé respectively, are teenage 12-14 years old. 

Cameroon has one of the highest facility roles in the west and central Africa. According to data collected in 2004 as part of DHS, 22.7% of adolescents under 20 were mothers of at least 20. Statistics from the social welfare Centre in Buea, southwest region of Cameroon, indicate that 5% of girls in Buea terminate school every academic year because of pregnancy.

Statement of Problem

Teenage pregnancy is a situation whereby girls between the ages of 10-19 become pregnant.  This issue has long been a worldwide social and educational concern for the developed, developing, and underdeveloped. Teenage girls are more vulnerable and are growing up in a context marked by limited educational opportunities, and weak social control.

In recent times, teenage pregnancy has drastically increased and remains a major factor that has affected the psychological and mental wellbeing of teenagers, worldwide and in south west to be precise. 

In Tiko municipality in the south west region of Cameroon, girls tend to get pregnant at a very tender age usually 13-19years. This issue tends to affect most of these teenager’s mental health. 

This is because, once they get pregnant so early, their parents get disappointed at them and mistreat them, others send those children out of the house, friends look down on them as a result of their condition and finally they drop out of school.


These so many challenges during pregnancy, especially because they are young traumatizes them, bring low their self-esteem as result of their opinion about themselves caused by peers, give them suicidal thoughts as a result of parents rejection and finally the remain less educated since they drop out of school. Teenage pregnancy is as a result of poverty, lack of sex education, poor parental supervision and the nature of their camp houses.

It is against these drawbacks that the researcher seeks to investigate the effects of teenage pregnancy on the mental health on Tiko municipality.

Objectives of the Study

General Research Objectives

To examine the effect of teenage pregnancy on the mental health of pregnant girls in Tiko municipality

Specific Research Objectives

1. To explore the effect of self-image on the mental health of pregnant girls in Tiko Municipality

2. To investigate the effect of social support  on the mental health of pregnant girls in Tiko Municipality

3. To determine the effect of parental support on the mental health of pregnant girls in Tiko Municipality

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