Parental involvement in teenage pregnancy prevention in Kenya: a study of Nyatike sub-county, Migori county
Awuor, Tabitha Auma
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Teenage pregnancy is associated with social, economic and health risks. It is rampant among school going girls who depend fully upon their parents. Parental involvement is considered necessary in preventing such pregnancies. This study therefore sought to investigate parental involvement in teenage pregnancy prevention in Nyatike Sub-county, Migori County, Kenya. It specifically aimed at; establishing the influence of sexual health education on teenage pregnancy prevention; examining how monitoring and supervision of teen girls prevent teenage pregnancy; and determining the extent to which parent-teen communication can prevent teenage pregnancy. Literature was reviewed based on the specific objectives of this study. The study utilized two theories; Structural Functionalism Theory and Social Cognitive Theory. Descriptive Cross-Sectional Survey Design was employed. Target population of the study was 30, 422 households in Nyatike Sub-county, and the unit of analysis was a household with teenage girl(s) while observational unit was one parent of teenage girls in every sampled household. Krejcie and Morgan sampling formula was used to get a sample size of 138 households from the target population 10 % statistical recommendation was used to obtain a sample size of 18 key informants. Cluster sampling, purposive, random and Snowball sampling techniques were used to get the main respondents. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and Key Informant Interview guide. The data collected through questionnaire was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and transcripts from interviews were analyzed by identifying and discussing common themes which emerged from the data. The key findings of the study were that majority of parents 85% teach their teenage girls sexuality related issues. However, a greater percentage, 67% were not comfortable when discussing sexuality issues with their girls. This translated to only 11% of the parents frequently discussing sex related issues with their children. The study also revealed that majority of parents 55% either knew a few or none of their daughters‘ friends. Findings also revealed that most of the parents 49% were not very close with their daughters, and 62% of teenage girls were not open in sexuality discussions with parents. The study also found out that there was no association between parent-teen relational closeness, and discussion of sexuality issues (x2=0.344 at 2 df and P<0.05). However, there was a weak association between parental comfort and sexuality discussion (x2=11.547 at 1df and P>0.05 and Cramer‘s V of 0.289). Similarly, teenage girls‘ openness was also associated with sexuality discussions at (x2=8.9222 at 1df and P>0.05 and Cramer‘s V of 0.254). This study concludes that parental involvement in teenage pregnancy prevention is limited in the study area hence the high numbers of teenage pregnancies. Therefore, the National and County governments should train parents on age appropriate comprehensive sex education and provide them with educational materials and guidelines, develop a multisectoral approach to promote parental monitoring and supervision and finally, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection through Childrens‘ Department should organize for parent-teen communication workshops in Nyatike Sub-county, Migori County, Kenya.