Teenage pregnancy is the pregnancy that occurs under twenty years of age. In Uganda, the teenage pregnancy rate stands at 31% according to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey of 2006 (UDHS, 2006). Regarded as the most troubling aspect of adolescence, teenage pregnancy is gradually on the increase and about 60-70% of teenagers are sexually active and due to this in most parts of Africa 70% of girls have ever been pregnant before or are pregnant (Arkutu, 1995).
According to the population and housing census of Uganda of 2002, 24. 7 million people (57%) are below the age of 18 In a study carried out in 1991 by Bagarukayo in kabala district among primary school pupils between the age of 11 and 18,59% with in that age bracket were sexually active,36% had already engaged in sexual intercourse for the first time, about 45% had already engaged in sexual intercourse more than once between the ages of 16-18.
In Uganda, little change in curbing teenage pregnancy has been realized, more so several countries in Africa report 40% of girls getting pregnant before the age of 18(UNICEF report, 2001). This is a problem that cuts across the developed and the under developed countries, and although there is a decreased number in the rate of teenage pregnancies, the number of those who conceive during their adolescence stage remains high. Teenage pregnancy has been attributed to low self esteem and alcohol abuse.
Later or early adolescence has affected girls more negatively than boys in that girls who are physically mature are generally less satisfied with their appearance and body image hence feel out of place among their female and male counterparts hence low self esteem, depression and anxiety(Brooks Gunn and Ruble,1983,Simmons and Blyth,1988) More so adolescents who are developmentally advanced especially after their first menstrual period have a poor and less interaction with their parents and tend to isolate themselves and only identify with their peers which may put them at a high risk of alcohol abuse, engaging in early sexual intercourse resulting into pregnancy in case their peers engage in risky behaviors (Rita. L. Atkinson, Richard. C. Atkinson).
Low self esteem is greatly associated to alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy may be a result of many other factors but more especially alcohol abuse and low self esteem hence leading to adverse consequences for the for the young mothers who are not biologically and psychologically ready to bear and take care of children at a young age.
Many teenagers engage in risky sexual behaviors more especially under the influence of alcohol which can easily be accessed by any one on the Ugandan market, adolescents with a problem of low self esteem often take alcohol as a scapegoat to this problem making them easy targets to their male peer friends.
Purpose of the study
The study is to find out the significance of alcohol abuse, self esteem and teenage pregnancy Objectives of the study To examine the relationship between alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy among adolescents To examine the relationship between self esteem and teenage pregnancy among adolescents To examine the relationship between alcohol abuse and self esteem among adolescents
Significance of the study
This study will provide guidance to other students and researchers who want to carry out research in the same field The study will be used by both government and non government organizations for intervention Since the target population will comprise of mainly teenagers in primary and secondary schools, the information will be of use to teachers and head teachers in offering career guidance Scope of the study Geographical scope The study will be carried out at Naguru teenage center in Kampala.
The study is limited to the significance of alcohol abuse, low self esteem and teenage pregnancy Conceptual frame work Conceptual frame work showing the significance of alcohol abuse, low self esteem and teenage pregnancy Alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy Risky behaviors like alcohol abuse lowers one’s inhibitions hence affecting judgment which increases the chance of taking further risks, hence teens who abuse alcohol are more sexually active and more likely to take risks when engaging in sex.
Risks taken may include failure to use protection against pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, for example condoms. More than one third of teens who have engaged in sexual intercourse say they have not used any kind of protection especially when under the influence of alcohol than when sober. About two thirds of high school students that have just joined report having tried alcohol at least once, 25% of those already in high school report to have engaged in heavy drinking (Lauren Mann, 2012).
Self esteem and teenage pregnancy
Low self esteem is viewed as a risk factor for teens who get involved in risky sexual behaviors which may lead to pregnancy and in other cases low self esteem comes as a result of early pregnancy.
A girl who gets pregnant while still at school or home suffers a lot of psychological problems and embarrassments which in turn lead to low self esteem like insecurity, self doubt, and fear. Girls who are deprived of parental love tend to feel devalued and neglected hence they tend to look for the love from somewhere else hence getting into sexual relationships that may lead to pregnancy Alcohol abuse and self esteem Psychosocial problems like poverty, loss of a job, are challenges that lead to loneliness, anger and depression which also lead to social conflicts and low self esteem. This may lead to use of alcohol as an escape route of such feelings. Alcohol may offer a relief to such problems thus with the continued use, it may lead to using it in more often and in large amounts. (Alistair Modey,2012).