Poor parenting: Teenagers’ views on adolescent pregnancies in Eastern Uganda

  • R Sekiwunga
  • SR Whyte
Keywords: Parental care, adolescent pregnancies, Uganda


In Uganda teenage pregnancy is considered a problem for moral and social, as well as health, reasons. This qualitative study in Busia District focused on the views of teenagers themselves as expressed in 9 focus group discussions with girls and boys. Their perspectives were contrasted with those of community leaders and mothers of adolescents. The young people blamed teenage pregnancy on failures
of the parental generation. They asserted that parents and guardians were both too lenient and too harsh, that they failed to provide for their daughters’ needs, and that they pressured them into early marriages
instead of giving priority to education. Although poverty and family breakdown were recognized as underlying structural causes of parental failure, the teenagers experienced these factors in their everyday
lives as problems with their parents and guardians. The teenagers expressed the ‘enlightened’ view that adolescent pregnancy was undesireable, even though many girls have few alternatives to marriage and childbearing.


(Afr J Reprod Health 2009; 13[4]:113-127)


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eISSN: 1118-4841