Parents and Community Leaders' Perceptions of Teenage Pregnancy: A Qualitative Study

Oluwaseyi Akpor, Gloria Thupayagale-Tshweneagae, Rose Mmusi-Phetoe


The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the perceptions and experiences of parents and community leaders of two communities in Nigeria regarding teenage pregnancy and their understanding of teenage sexuality and contraception. In addition, the study set out to ascertain whether teenage pregnancy prevention programmes were available within the communities. The study was qualitative, contextual and exploratory utilising the Community-as-Partner Model. Eighty participants who were parents and community leaders responded to the semi-structured interview and completed a questionnaire on demographic data. Tesch’s approach of data analysis was used, and descriptive statistics were used to display demographic data as well as the count of data segments that constitute categories. The findings reveal that although limited teenage pregnancy prevention initiatives were in existence, most of the participants, especially those from the North Central (NC) region of Nigeria, were not informed about them. Almost half of the participants viewed teenage pregnancy as a common occurrence in their communities of which most were from the NC region. More than two-thirds of the participants discouraged teenagers from using contraceptives. Teenage pregnancy intervention programmes and strategies must be sensitive to differences among various ethnic and religious groups. The involvement of religious and community leaders in teenage pregnancy intervention programmes and initiatives is indispensable in curtailing the high incidence of teenage pregnancies and childbirths among teenagers.


contraceptives; community leaders; teenage pregnancy; parents; perceptions

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