Teenage mothers’ experiences of motherhood : schooling, stigma and learned responsibility : a case study of teenage mothers of school going age in a peri-urban area in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Dlamini, Nothile (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study seeks to contribute to research that seeks to understand experiences of teenage motherhood. Drawing on the experiences of fifteen (15) teenage mothers between the ages of 15 to 19 years old, in and out of school, this study investigates the experiences of motherhood among a sample of teenage mothers in a peri-urban area in KwaZulu Natal. Utilising the qualitative approach in the form of semi-structured interviews, the study aimed to investigate teenage mothers’ experiences of motherhood. The focus is of the study is mainly on understanding factors that lead to teenage pregnancy, teenage mothers own risky sexual behavior and lack of access to contraceptives and how this has a bearing on teenage pregnancy. The study further examines the stigma experienced by teenage mothers as well as the gendered notions of this experience. Teenage mothers’ reasons for staying in school, as well as the factors leading up to those decide to leave school are also explored in the study. Findings suggest that teenage motherhood presents with feelings of fear and sadness at the realisation of the pregnancy. Family reactions at finding out also differ with some experiencing anger, and disappointment at the pregnancy. Often, participants reported that they were not aware that they were pregnant and had symptoms of teenage pregnancy and for some; knowledge of their pregnancy came from the boyfriend and father of the child before their realised that they are pregnant. The participants related reasons for returning to school as influenced by their need to have a better job in the future and to take care of their children. Others returned to school because of influence by parents who had been teenage mothers and returned to school. Some of the participants argued that support from teachers played a role in decisions to stay in school. Those participants who left school did so due to lack of support from family and friends and teachers attitudes towards them during and after the pregnancy, as well as financial constraints and not having anyone to take care of the child while they are in school. I conclude that understanding how teenage mothers themselves experience motherhood will assist in unravelling the complex situations and inform policy on structural, context-specific interventions that will help keep teenage mothers in the education system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie poog om by te dra tot navorsing wat daarop gemik is om ervaringe van tienermoederskap verstaan. Teken op die ervarings van vyftien (15) tienermoeders tussen die ouderdomme van 15 tot 19 jaar oud, in en uit van die skool, die studie ondersoek die ervarings van moederskap onder 'n monster van tienermoeders in 'n peri-stedelike gebied in KwaZulu- Natal. Benutting van die kwalitatiewe benadering in die vorm van semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude, die studie is daarop gerig om ervarings van moederskap tienermoeders 'te ondersoek. Die fokus is van die studie is hoofsaaklik op die begrip van faktore wat lei tot tienerswangerskappe, tiener moeders besit riskante seksuele gedrag en 'n gebrek aan toegang tot voorbehoedmiddels en hoe dit 'n invloed op tienerswangerskappe. Die studie ondersoek verder die stigma ervaar deur tienermoeders asook die gendered begrippe van hierdie ervaring. Redes tienermoeders 'vir die besluit om te bly in die skool, asook die faktore wat gelei het tot die besluit om die skool te verlaat, word ook ondersoek in die studie. Bevindinge dui daarop dat tienermoederskap presenteer met gevoelens van vrees en hartseer by die verwesenliking van die swangerskap. Familie reaksies by om uit te vind ook verskil met 'n paar ervaar woede, teleurstelling en die swangerskap. Dikwels, deelnemers het gerapporteer dat hulle nie bewus was dat hulle swanger was en het simptome van tienerswangerskappe en vir 'n paar; kennis van hul swangerskap het van die kêrel en vader van die kind voor hulle besef dat hulle swanger is. Die deelnemers verwante redes vir die terugkeer na die skool as beïnvloed deur hul behoefte om 'n beter werk in die toekoms te hê en om te sorg van hul kinders. Ander teruggekeer na skool as gevolg van die invloed van ouers wat tienermoeders was en teruggekeer na die skool. Sommige van die deelnemers het aangevoer dat die ondersteuning van onderwysers 'n rol gespeel in die besluit om te bly in die skool. Die deelnemers wat die skool verlaat het so weens 'n gebrek aan ondersteuning van familie en vriende en onderwysers houdings teenoor hulle tydens en na die swangerskap, sowel as finansiële beperkinge en nie met iemand om te sorg van die kind terwyl hulle in die skool. Ek aflei dat die begrip van hoe tienermoeders self ervaar moederskap sal help ontrafel die komplekse situasies en inlig beleid oor strukturele, konteksspesifieke ingrypings wat sal help om tienermoeders in die onderwysstelsel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98667
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