Reducing teen parenting among African immigrants in Arkansas
Despite the widespread use of contraceptives in reducing the rate of pregnancy in Arkansas, there is a significant number of teenagers who give birth every year. Teen pregnancy has been high among the African females’ immigrants. It has not been the plan of these young girls to become parents at teen age. Due to low self-esteem, most of these African females feel that they are not shown affection and love from their parents thus they decide to seek it from their peer groups. Other parents have been reluctant, and they have not been giving their children supervision assuming that they are ready for independence.
Adolescent parenthood and pregnancy is associated with a number of economic and social issues. Teenage mothers do not finish school increasing their possibility of living in poverty in future and hence being forced to depend on others. Along with teen childbearing affecting the education of the mother, it has implications on the education of the child born. Further, these children have high chances of suffering from cognitive and health disadvantages, becoming teen parents and living in poverty.
It has been a challenge to parents, teachers, counselors, society and policy makers in helping young people to avoid adolescent parenthood and pregnancy. This explains why it is extremely significant to study the measures, which can be applied to reduce the rates of teen births and pregnancy. In this study, the researcher will focus on seeking answers to the following questions: what are the causes of teen pregnancy and births among the African females? What are the benefits of reducing teen pregnancies? And what are some of the measures, which can be used to reduce the rate of teen births and pregnancy? Special attention will be paid to young people aged between 14 and 21 among the immigrants in the state of Arkansas.
Research hypothesis: it is believed that they are various benefits associated with controlling the rate of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies among the teens. The teenagers and the society as whole feel these benefits.
According to the research conducted by Wyatt (2012), adolescent parenthood has become a big challenge as it prevents the teenagers from achieving their potential. It has become common in Arkansas where a large number of young people who are giving birth. Wright (2015) claimed that although there is research developed on the rate of teen pregnancy and birth, much of literature has concentrated in understanding the rate of teen parenting, leaving only limited attention paid to measures to reduce teen parenting.
Doughman (2012) claimed that despite the fact that the teen births rate has declined over the last decade, the reasons associated to this remains unclear to most of the people. Although there is an increase in the use of contraceptive among the youth population and other approaches aimed at controlling the rate of births, the rate of abortion has also increased as well. This poses a great challenge to health because unsuccessful abortion can lead to death. Several studies suggest that although a big percentage of young people succeed in doing abortion, they risk their chances of bearing children in future. Further, there are several emotional effects that are associated with abortion, especially in teenagers. Among them, include regret, guilt, and shame, anger, depression and anxiety, lowered self-confidence, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts. The increase in abortion rate is associated with an increase in the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Importance of reducing teen prevention
Ulmer (2015) by noted that teen childbearing, as well as pregnancy, bring along substantial economic and social costs in its both short-term and long-term effects on young parents and their children. According to the survey conducted by Wright (2015), in 2010 alone, teen parenting accounted for more than $9.3 billion in term of costs to the United State government. This cost was incurred because of increasing and fostering healthcare, increased rate of incarceration among the children born to teen parents and tax lost due low educational attainment as well as income among the teen parents.
Inferring from Vincent (2013), pregnancies and births among the teen parents have been major contributors of dropping out of school. Wright (2015) expressed a similar idea where he claimed that only less than 50 percent of teen parents graduate from high school before they attain 23 years. It is also estimated that more than 90 percent of the girls who are not impregnated during teenage graduate from high schools before they attain 23 years of age.
Further, research indicates that children born from teen mothers have limited chances of achieving more in school, likely to have health problems and bear at a young age. Wyatt (2012) pointed that socio-economic environment which these children grow under has a lot of impacts on their lives. Considering the fact that their parents (teen mothers) are poor, these children cannot be able to access high-quality education. This affects their likelihood of getting employment. It is also difficult for teen mothers to offer their children high-quality healthcare services, a factor, which has a great impact on their general health in both childhood and adulthood.
As indicated by Zachary (2011), the impacts continue for the teen parents and their children even after adjusting for most of the factors, which increases the risk for pregnancy among the teenagers such as poverty, low education levels, poor academic performance, and single parent family.
Causes of teen pregnancy
According to Clark (2013) some customs, traditions, and cultures lead to early marriage, which in turn results in early pregnancy. In these cases, the pregnancy is intentional and is acceptable. As explained by Doran (2013), in most of the developed nations, teen pregnancy is caused by different reason and in most cases, it is unintentional.
Miller (2013) by summarizing the work of many others claimed that most of the cases of teen pregnancies are experienced in families associated with low socio-economic status. When growing up these teen suffers from inadequate resources due to poverty. The children have low educational success and goals due to inadequate involvement with their parents. As mentioned by Berendt (2013) they are predisposed to an environment, which lessens their ambition to succeed, and they start making friendship with other kids who suffer from a similar situation.
Low socio-economic status is associated with low family connectedness levels. This implies that when growing up the kids lacks individuals who they can look up to or strong role models. With this low status, abuse predisposes youth to troubling and unsafe conditions. Whether the child is witnessing domestic abuse or being abused, adolescents are being disconnected and separated from their families and at times, it might result in poor decision making. According to Edwards (2013), inadequate family connectedness pushes teenagers away, towards other unsafe conditions.
According to Fox (2015), due to lack of knowledge and education on reproduction, teens engage in unsafe and unprotected sexual activity. Some of them are not aware of contraceptives. Further research reveals that most of the young girls, who use the contraceptive, use them incorrectly reducing efficiency in preventing pregnancy. Engaging in sexual intercourse when one is young with multiple partners increases the chances of pregnancy.
According to the research conducted by Vincent (2013), peer pressure is the main cause of teen pregnancy where older males force young women to engage in sexual intercourse. Shackleford (2014) expressed a similar idea where he suggested that peer pressure may lead to teen pregnancy; teen are forced by their male counterparts to engage in unprotected sex or unsafe sex as a way of expressing their true feelings and love. Sexual abuse is also associated with teen pregnancy. There are cases where young kids have been assaulted sexually even before they enter their puberty. Due to fear, they are unable to inform the people whom they trust. If the children do not get pregnant from these assaults, this situation affects them in adolescence increasing their chances of teen pregnancy.
According to Vincent (2013), teens need to be assisted, preventing them from becoming parents at their young age. At this age, they are not mature to make good decision, and this might affect them and their children. Formulating good strategies to reduce teen pregnancies will not only help them, but also the society as whole since in most instances teen parents are a burden to the government and people whom they live with.
To investigate on measures that can be applied to reduce teen pregnancy among the young female immigrates aged between 14 and 21, mixed research design will be applied. The approach will be preferred because its strengths offset the deficiencies of qualitative and quantitative research. Both approaches offer a comprehensive and complete understanding of the research phenomena as opposed to either of qualitative or quantitative design alone. Further, mixed research design offers an approach to develop more context and better specific instruments. Additionally, the design will be helpful in explaining the findings.
To gather the relevant data for the purpose of the study, questionnaires covering the issues of teen parenting will be administered. According to Anderson (2013), the questionnaire is preferred because it gives the respondents enough time to reconsider their response. Along with ensuring uniformity (similar questions are administered to all the participants), questionnaires saves time and cost because the questions can be sent to the participants through email. Other benefit associated with questionnaire is reduced possibility of biasness because all the respondents integrate the questions on their way.
Further, participants will be interviewed to investigate their views and suggestions on the most appropriate measures that can be applied to curb the problem of teen pregnancy and births. The interview will offer a good understanding of the research problem. The researcher will have an opportunity to seek further clarification where necessary. Putting in mind that there is limited information existing on measures of reducing teen parenting, interviews will gather detailed information.
The study will target peer counselors and people who work in health department who are believed to have useful information on teen parenting. The study will aim to work with a sample of 50 participants. Random sampling design will be applied to select the respondents where each will have an equal chance of being selected.
A pilot test will be carried to assess the reliability and validity of the study plan. All software and computers, which will be used in analyzing the data, will be updated to ensure that they will offer reliable results. The researcher will use the sources, which are believed to contain the most relevant data. Interviews will be conducted in a free and fair environment to minimize any chances of biases. Further, in the questionnaire, most questions will be open-ended, and where the questions will be close-ended, standard answers will be offered. The researcher will consider ethical guidelines throughout out the research process. The data gathered will be tabulated and analyzed to make useful conclusions.
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