Qualitative reflections on teenage motherhood experiences

Sodi, Edzisani Egnes (2005-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University 2005

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to undertake a phenomenological investigation on teenage motherhood and to learn how this experience forms part of the teenage mother's life. Using the snowball sampling method, five women aged between 26 and 35 years were selected to participate in the study. All the five women became mothers during their teenage years. Indepth interviews were conducted in Northern Sotho and Tshivenda depending on the language preference and fluency of the participant. The interviews were audio-taped, and later transcribed and translated. A phenomenological method of analysis was used to transform the original data into natural meaning units (NMUs) which were further interrogated so as to distil central sociological themes that were associated with the experience of teenage motherhood. Apart from the finding that the participants got pregnant when they were aged between 16 and 18, five sociological themes associated with teenage motherhood were identified. These are: • Lack of knowledge about sexual relationships contributes to teenage pregnancy and motherhood. • Early childbearing has a negative impact on the teenage mother's social relationships. • Teenage mothers tend to experience emotional problems after delivery of their babies. • Teenage motherhood has a long term disruptive effect on the teenage mother's educational and occupational opportunities. • Teenage motherhood leads to significant lifestyle changes for those who have been through the experience. In view of the above themes, sexual education both at school and at home, is suggested here as a more viable option to help minimise the risk of teenage motherhood in society. Whilst other options like abortion and the newly introduced child support grant are also available to the teenage mother, these are not considered favourable.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die huidige studie was om 'n fenomenologiese ondersoek oor tienermoederskap te doen en uit te vind hoe hierdie belewenis deel uitmaak van die tienermoeder se bestaan. Deur die sneeubaltoetsingsmetode is vyf vroue tussen die ouderdomme van 26 en 35 jaar gekies om deel te neem aan die studie. AI vyf vroue het tydens hulle tienerjare moeders geword. Diepteonderhoude is in Noord-Sotho en Venda gevoer, afhangende van die taalvoorkeur en -vlotheid van die deelnemer. Klankopnames is van die onderhoude gemaak wat later getranskribeer en vertaal is. 'n Fenomenologiese analisemetode is gebruik om die oorspronklike data na natuurlike betekeniseenhede (NMUs - natural meaning units) te herlei wat verder ondersoek is om sentrale sosiologiese temas geassosieer met die belewing van tienermoederskap te identifiseer. Behalwe vir die bevinding dat die deelnemers swanger geraak het toe hulle tussen die ouderdom van 16 en 18 jaar was, is vyf sosiologiese temas geassosieer met tienermoederskap geïdentifiseer. Hierdie temas is: • 'n Gebrek aan kennis oor seksuele verhoudings dra by tot die voorkoms van tienerswangerskappe en -moederskap. • Vroeë kinderbaring het 'n negatiewe impak op die tienermoeder se sosiale verhoudings. • Tienermoeders is geneig daartoe om emosionele probleme te ondervind na die geboortes van hulle babas. • Tienermoederskap het 'n langtermyn ontwrigtende effek op die tienermoeder se opvoedings- en werksgeleenthede. • Tienermoederskap lei tot betekenisvolle veranderinge in lewenstyl vir diegene wat die ondervinding deurgemaak het. Met inagneming van bogenoemde temas word hier voorgestel dat seksuele opvoeding beide op skool en by die huis 'n meer lewensvatbare opsie is om die risiko van tienermoederskap in die samelewing te verminder. Alhoewel ander opsies soos aborsies en die nuutingestelde toekennings van kinderonderhoud ook vir die tienermoeder beskikbaar is, word hierdie opsies nie as bevorderlik beskou nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50433
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