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Dysfunctional families a result of teenage pregnancy

To describe the experience of 19 family members regarding teen pregnancy. This was a qualitative study using narrative analysis approach. Teen pregnancy happened in a solid family organization context and the trajectory of teenager mothers after childbirth was characterized by family bonding and social network support.

The new mother received material and psychoemotional support from her family members. This proportion increases with age, going from 3. As for the correlation between pregnancy and the level dysfunctional families a result of teenage pregnancy schooling during adolescence, the analysis showed a clear gradient, decreasing from 40.

Three adjectives have been mistakenly attributed to teen pregnancy which are not always true. The first is that it is early, that is, that there is a proper age where people are physically and emotionally maturity to have kids 3not taking into account that in other decades this was the ideal age for having kids 2. Additionally, the same weight is given to teenage pregnancy thorough adolescence, not taking into account that more than half the pregnancies occur in adolescents over 18 years old 4.

Secondly, teenage pregnancy is considered as cause and consequence of poverty since most adolescent mothers are not in school. A recent survey carried out in three Brazilian capital cities showed that, actually, adolescents in situation of social exclusion got pregnant after they left school or finished high school with no perspective of continuing education in a university 5.

Third, teen pregnancy has been acknowledged as not wanted. However, several studies assessing the point of view of adolescent women demonstrate that pregnancy is not always associated with an accident or an unpleasant surprise, it can be related with the fulfillment of a project for the teenager, a type of permission to go into the adult world, getting involved with more complex dimensions that are connected with a change in the status and reassurance of projects of upward mobility 2,6.

A balance made by adolescents on maternity led to the conclusion that this condition produced more gains than losses, even if the role has been experienced in inappropriate circumstances, such as the need to face obstacles related with survival and lack of positive perspectives for personal and family future 7.

We do not want to deny that teenage pregnancy and maternity are complex phenomena, especially for adolescents in situations of social exclusion. Pregnancy definitely affects their life path, greatly increasing social vulnerability 6.

Children of broken homes

However, we must consider that it is not always seen as a problem, either by adolescents or their families or social group. This occurs partially because of the transmission of sociocultural values in the family context which have to do with the social role of women which is still connected with marriage and reproduction, especially in low-income families.

Even though maternity is a highly valued event by families, when it occurs during adolescence, it can lead to ambivalent reactions, and many feelings and attitudes are involved with the need of an internal reorganization 3. The family perspective in teen pregnancy has been little described. To know the experiences of families facing adolescent pregnancy is essential to align the care provided by health workers and the needs of adolescents and their families.

Correspondence between professional perspectives and that of users of services is a central element of a socially relevant work 8. The present study was carried out to know the perspective of the families of pregnant adolescents in order to achieve this alignment. The objective is to describe the experiences of family members concerning teenage pregnancy.

METHODS The study, carried out using a qualitative approach because of the naturalistic feature of the research, used the method of the narrative analyses for data systematization 9. The essence of this method is to access primary experience as represented by the person experiencing it. The five stages of the method were developed by the authors of this article. The first stage was to propose the study to access the experience of people who had experienced pregnancy and maternity of an adolescent dysfunctional families a result of teenage pregnancy the family.

In the second stage, we contacted family members so that they could report the experience. The family was the context studied because it has a significant influence in the experience 10. The inclusion criteria for the present study were: The first participant was a person known by one of the researchers.

The majority of people living in this place are low-income families. To obtain an intentional sample, at the end of the interview each participant was asked to introduce a neighbor or acquaintance.

A similar measure was adopted until the inclusion of the last participant.

Teen Pregnancy: Childhood Interrupted

This measure was adopted to include people who had similar socioeconomic conditions. All of them have been informed on the objective of the study and have been asked to take part in it, there were no refusals. We have interviewed people with different family roles. This diversity was important to obtain different point of views and to picture the family system which is part of other broader systems 10.

The following question has been made: Further questions have been made when there was the need to go deeper into the subject.

The point of view of participants was essential in the analysis of the narrative 9. Personal data, those related with the family structure and the marital status of teenagers were obtained in a room of participants' houses 15 or in the workplace 4between November 2005 and January 2007. Each interview lasted from 20 to 60 minutes. The criterion to stop including new participants was continuous repetition of data.

This repetition started to occur in the 15th interview however, to ensure theoretical saturation of data 1119 participants have been included. The third stage, transcribing the experience, was performed through transcribing oral interviews, fully recorded into written discourse. Individual characteristics of expression have been preserved and the grammar mistakes have been corrected in this stage. The fourth stage, assessing the dysfunctional families a result of teenage pregnancy, has been developed in an interpretative and inductive fashion 11.

Careful initial reading of the narrative allowed for a general idea of the individual experience. In the other readings, the focus was on the constant meanings of the narratives. The fifth stage, reading the experience, identified the recurrence of ideas so that descriptive categories could be designed. These categories show the representation of participants regarding teen pregnancy and maternity in the family context.

Teenage Pregnancy Risk Rises with Childhood Exposure to Family Strife

Small excerpts from the narratives have been used to exemplify the meanings of the categories. They have been separated by dots. The strongest example has been used to represent the other, similar examples. These resources have been vital for a realistic description of the experience and to preserve the personal perspective which is an essential point of qualitative research 11especially for the method of narrative analysis 9.

All participants gave their written consent. RESULTS Personal characteristics of participants and their families Family roles performed were mothers 12fathers 3 sisters 4 of pregnant adolescents, identified by letters "m", "f" and "s" and their respective numbers.

They were between 23 and 56 years old, schooling was complete elementary school or less and two of them had zero years of study. Predominant religion was Catholic 12 and Evangelical 7 and the family genogram was nuclear 10 and extensive 9. Teenagers' age at the time they got pregnant ranged from 14 to 18 years old, 15 got married and four remained single.

Among those who got married, 8 continued to live with parents, five lived with their husbands' families, and two had their own houses. Among those dysfunctional families a result of teenage pregnancy remained single, all of them continued to live with their parents. Descriptive categories Family values and guidelines provided Single parenting was feared because it was against the prevalent moral principles with a negative effect on the concept of family in their social group.

Sexual intercourse which is seen as part of dating, however, as a "modern" habit should be accompanied by birth control. Advice to avoid pregnancy was continuously given because pregnancy was seen as an embarrassment to the family, representing a concrete sign of disrespect to the family and social values.

This reality made mothers resort to prayers in an attempt to avoid pregnancy. I prayed I asked the lord for my daughter not to get pregnant, people would talk about it m1,3, 5, 10, p 3.

Several guidelines were given on the proper behavior in relationships with men. Mothers take up the responsibility to direct and supervise the behavior of teenagers. The emphasis was on the care that should be taken so as not to "fall for men's talk".

There was the idea that men only wanted to have sex. The idea that women were responsible for falling or not for men's appeal was rooted. Adolescents received guidelines so as not to give in promptly to men's attempts.

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Intimate relationship should only be started when they were certain about the good intentions of men, which assumed a commitment and a bond. Being a virgin was clearly valued. Dialogues on sexuality and birth control did not occur in some families because they believed adolescents already had this kind of knowledge. Furthermore, to these families, these issues were available at school and in the media. To be ashamed to talk about that with their daughters and to have no idea daughters had sexual intercourse were also explanations given for not providing guidelines.

I did not talk because I was embarrassed to talk about this"; "I have never talked because I though she did not have sex with anyone m4 ".

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The way the news was given was also different, and regardless of the strategy adopted, these moments have been accompanied by fear, which was more dysfunctional families a result of teenage pregnancy in the cases where there was no clear bond between adolescents and the children's father.

Pregnancy occurring in these situations led to greater concern because it was a clear proof of not following the guidelines repeatedly given. In some families pregnancy was hidden up to the limit because there was the fear of being punished. Some adolescents ran away from home which made family members suspicious of a pregnancy. She ran away, desperate, we found about the pregnancy only later m4, 9,3 ".

When mothers were the ones receiving the news first, they were the ones responsible to give the news to the other family members and to intermediate the family conflict.

This was a hard work because there was the possibility of a hard punishment and harsh actions, including sending adolescents away from home. In other families, the mother was the most feared person and, in these cases, fathers performed the role of moderators in the family conflict. Several actions were taken and they depended on the prevalent values and beliefs. In some families, pregnancy was well accepted and was a reason for joy and happiness, even though it was accompanied by accepting the situation.

I suffered but I accepted it. I was sad but I supported her, what to do? The measures taken depended on the characteristics of the bond between adolescents and their partners.

When the relationship was not stable, negative reactions were predominant and the event caused intense suffering, because it was seen as a confrontation to the family. There was concern for the negative criticism that would come from relatives, neighbors and friends. The fear was greater in cases where pregnancy occurred in the beginning of the couples' relationship. Worries were lower when the couple was in a steady relationship and there were already marriage plans.

  1. For that reason, the immediate actions taken by family members to get their daughters married are justified. A similar measure was adopted until the inclusion of the last participant.
  2. We have to decide now, make things clear between the two and the children...
  3. O aprendizado da sexualidade.
  4. Three adjectives have been mistakenly attributed to teen pregnancy which are not always true. All of them have been informed on the objective of the study and have been asked to take part in it, there were no refusals.
  5. The essence of this method is to access primary experience as represented by the person experiencing it. Secondly, teenage pregnancy is considered as cause and consequence of poverty since most adolescent mothers are not in school.

Regardless of the connection between couples and the circumstances involved, pregnancy led to frustration because it implied the need to stop or change the family project.