Teenage Pregnancy and Academic Achievement among Secondary School Girls


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This research work was carried out to find out the effects of teenage pregnancy on the academic achievement among secondary school girls in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Chapter one of the studies dealt with the background of the study which has to do with academic achievement of girls of secondary school age in the study area. Chapter Two focused on the review of related literature which gave the researcher insights to the issues that often arise in teenage girl, who supposed to be in school, gets pregnant. More so, the hypotheses of the study are also found here.

Chapter three encapsulated the methodology which has to do with the research design, sample population and sample technique, study area population of study, instrumentation, validation and reliability of instrument, procedure for data’ collection and data analysis. The questionnaires were also constructed in this chapter as an instrument used for data, collection. It was constructed by the researcher under the supervisors guide and given to 150 respondents.

The questionnaires were successfully administered. Chapter four described, the data 60 collected, which is analyzed with the use of tables and values. The hypotheses’ earlier stated were tested with the use of tables, the Chi-square (x2) statistical techniques’ and 0.05 level of significance was used with critical values and degree of freedom as 2 to ascertain whether to accept or reject them. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations and suggestions for further studies were made.


Teenage Pregnancy and Academic Achievement among Secondary School Girls




1.1   Background to the Study

In a society where living is increasing, being characterized by a wide range of choices, as well as articulated response to these choices has become very necessary. This is most important because the choice made by various individuals have individual and collective effects or consequences on the society. No group is endangered by such choices as the teenagers or adolescents in our society International Planned Parent Federation (IPPF) reports on young people’s sexual and reproductive health (1994) defined adolescence as “the period of transition from childhood to adulthood”. This period is also known as puberty. According to issue in  brie (1991) using the age bracket of 1O -19 for adolescents. It maintained that “there were 1.1 billion of such people in 1995 with 913 billion living in developing countries as against 160 million living in under developed countries.


In sub-Sahara Africa, the picture is bleaker.

As at 1997, Issues in Brief further revealed that the population of Nigerians aged between 10 and 19 was over 26 million, representing 23% of the entire population. Researchers
have shown that adolescents are exposed to several critical
choices which have exposed them to a variety of consequences. One of such choices is the strong desire to explore and experiment the world around them. Such exploration holds specific implications for the adolescent child. If the child is being exposed to sexual activity at such a tender age due to either early marriage or early sexual experience, the consequences of this action are varied. One of such consequences is early child bearing.

The Alan Gutlmacher Institutes publication (1996) argues
that the choices adolescents make will strongly affect their educational attainment and employment opportunities. The truth is that whatever the choices made by adolescents, the resultant consequence will affect the future and that of the society in general. Based on this premise, this study aims at revealing the effect of adolescent’s pregnancy and their academic achievement in the society.



Of recent, there have been many attempts made to understudy and understand the reproductive health behavior of women especially that of the adolescents: Adolescence is the period when young people begin to undergo various biological, physical and emotional changes. This period of changes is known as puberty. Puberty brings on the bodily changes that mark the beginning of growing up sexually (GPI 2005). It is that period that young people feel insecure and as such they tend to experiment a lot in order to explore beyond their limits.

Sexual activity among young people in Nigeria is said to high and rising each passing day (Adolescent productive Behaviour In Nigeria 1991). Knowledge of contraceptive is fragmental and the practice is not wide spread nation wide. However 5.9% of 1519 year old females use contraceptives (Nigeria Democratic Health Talk survey 1992). While some young people have some awareness of the subject, their detailed knowledge is inaccurate and their attitudes towards using contraceptives are often ambivalent. This is because they see contraceptives: as actively
harmful and a waste of time. Many find the post as being exorbitant and as such do not bother their heals about them.
The consequences of unprotected sexual activities among adolescents are numerous: These include sexually transmitted disease (STDs) like gonorrhea, syphilis, Chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, pubic lice, scabies etc, and HIV/AIDS of which AIDS is most deadly. Other consequences are unwanted pregnancy resulting in unwanted babies as well as induced abortion.

The incidence of pregnancy among young adolescents’ girls is high and may be on the increase among young women in their early teens with 905,000 births recorded among adolescents girls annually (Health reports further show that 60% of the patients in the gynecological emergency consultation room of Nigerian hospitals are adolescents with abortion related cases. It has been noted that induced abortion and treatment of STDs are not seldom performed by qualified doctors but rather by incompetent practitioners under poor and unhygienic conditions.

Post abortion care and medical attention is always poor, leading to reproductive problems such as inflammatory infections, infertility and social stigmatization. All these pose a lot of negative effects on the adolescent child, and as such affect her academic Performance, as academic needs concentration and time.



The purposes of this study are:

(i)     To examine the extent to which economic adversity  contributes to adolescent pregnancy among secondary  school girls.

(ii)    To find out the extent to which inadequate knowledge on  sex education contributes to adolescent pregnancy among secondary school girls.

(iii)    To examine the extent to which teenage pregnancy can  lead to high level of dropouts or poor academic performance among secondary school girls schools girls?

Teenage Pregnancy and Academic Achievement among Secondary School Girls


  1. To what extent does economic adversity or poverty level in society lead to adolescent pregnancy among secondary
    on sex secondary school girls?
  2. What extent does inadequate knowledge education encourage early pregnancy among adolescent girls of    secondary school age?
  3. To what extent does teenage pregnancy lead to high level of dropout and poor academic performance among        secondary school girls?



For the purpose of this study, the following hypothesis   were formulated and tested:

  1. There is no significant relationship between economic adversity and adolescent pregnancy among secondary school girls.
  2. There is no significant relationship between inadequate knowledge on sex education among adolescent girls, and adolescent pregnancy among secondary school girls.
  3. There is no significant relationship between adolescent pregnancy and high level of dropout or poor academic achievement among secondary school girls.

Teenage Pregnancy and Academic Achievement among Secondary School Girls


The relevance of study of this nature cannot be over emphasized. Adolescents form a very significant percentage of society’s populace and if they are constantly affected by menace, it will not spell well for such a society.

The teenage girls are the worst of all. The poor living conditions in our country in recent times may be explained in terms of high fertility rate. Thus, the high fertility rate with low mortality rate due to improved medical services has its consequences. A high dependent population-our teenage mothers are included in this group.

Thus, investigations into their academic performance with
attendance results, its social and economic consequences will help in understanding the appropriate response to these problems.

It will also help the teenage girl to embrace a more bearable human ganging conditions so as to reduce cost of early on her, the child and the society, and most importantly, hot mar her academic pursuit.

Thus the importance of this investigation is to suggest ways of curbing or totally eliminating teenage pregnancy among school students so as to enable them achieve their academic goals without delay or draw back.

This can be achieved through specially designed programmes awareness to teenagers by teachers, parents and NGOs on dangers of early or pre-marital sex and also how to develop self among teenage girls. This will help to increase the output on the countries educational investments, reduce the dropouts and bastards, and build a more productive adult work force for our nation.



The study is limited to two Community Secondary Schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. It represents a transitional stage between the traditional modern society. The period of adolescents consideration is between the ages of 12-19.


In carrying out a research of this magnitude, the researcher was faced with some difficulties like lack of funds or financial resources. These made the researcher limit the study
only 12-19 years old in SSI-SS3 in just two secondary schools out of the various secondary schools in the community.
Furthermore, some of the respondents viewed the exercise with suspicion and thereby tried to withhold or suppress vital information. Others saw it as unnecessary encroachment into their private lives.



(i)     Adolescence: This is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood and describes both the development to sexual maturity and to psychological and relative economic in dependence, thus, adolescents are those that fall between the age of 10-19.

(ii)    Pregnancy: According to this work, pregnancy refers to the fertilization of the female egg by the male sperm in the fallopian tube and its implantation in the uterus
(Womb) of the female.

(iii)    Unwanted pregnancy: Any Woman, who seeks abortion than any other reason than health or hygienic indication, clearly demonstrates that the pregnancy is unwanted.

(iv)   Pro-marriage intercourse/sex: Involvement in coital relationship between member of the male and female gender while not being married.

(v)    Economic adversity: A difficult economic situation experience by a person when he/she is not able to afford his/her immediate needs. Poverty level is synonymous.

(vii)   Sex education: Sex education which is sometimes called sexuality education or sex and relationship education is the process of developing young people’s minds and skills so that they make informed choices, about their sexual behaviour, feel confident about acting on these choices to help protect them against sexual abuse, exploitation, unintended pregnancies, contraction of STDs and HIV/AIDS.

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