HOME BACKGROUND VARIABLES AND GIRL-CHILD PREGNANCY AMONG STUDENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA


HOME BACKGROUND VARIABLES AND GIRL-CHILD PREGNANCY AMONG STUDENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Position differentiation is an important characteristic of every society in the world. Individuals and their families are arranged or grouped into social strata called classes.

However, the nature and conditions of differentiation varies from one society to another. In Nigeria, the commonest type of classification is done in terms of socio-economic standing which are; upper, middle and lower classes.

Ogunlade (2005) opined that the high social-economic status parents are able to provide their young children with quality items like books and toys to encourage them in various learning activities both at home and in school.

Nevertheless, across all socio-economic groups, parents face major challenges when it comes to providing the best or most effective care for their children.

However, the challenges are more seriously devastating among the poor families that struggle to provide the basic needs that are necessary to sustain the family members.

There is a general believe that children from high and middle class socio-economic status parent are better exposed to good learning environment at home as a result of the provision and availability of extra learning facilities.
In contrast, the belief held by most people are that children from low socio-economic status parents do not have access to extra learning facilities, hence, the opportunity to get to the top of their education ladder may not be very easy.

Ginther and Pollack (2001) maintained that the socio-economic status of a student’s parent eventually affects his participation pattern, interactions, association and above all his personality.

This position is supported by Oakes (2001) who stated that socio-economic status of parents is an important predictor for academic achievement of student. Factors related to the external environment of the family, such as occupation and family income are more crucial for the overall behavior of the girl-child.
Austin (2003), in his book found no difference in parents’ income and their freshman year in college either before or after controlling the students’ high school grades, aptitude test score and college selectivity.

According to Deutsch (2004), socio- economic position is usually determined with reference to parental occupation.
He explained further that in the United Kingdom, the Registrar generally classifies such occupation into five groups, starting with group one which includes doctors, politicians and university lectures, and proceeding down to managerial skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers also make up the group five. He went on to reveal that research has constantly shown that the higher the socio-economic status, the higher the mean intelligent quotient becomes. The reason for this according to Deutsch’s explanation might be that children from low socio-economic status are less likely to have the material possessions that stimulate intellectual activities such as books and constructive toys. They are also likely to hear complex verbal structures in the speech of their parents.

Stone (2005) investigations on the effects of socio-economic status of parents on pupils’ academic achievement revealed that pupils in high and average socio-economic groups perform better than those in the low socio-economic status groups. He further stated that the majority of children from high and average socio-economic background usually have access to pre-primary school education and also enjoyed the services of private teacher, which gives the children academic advantage over children from low socio-economic background.

Ibia (2002) reported that the study conducted by Ugwuoke (2001) revealed that the children from high socio-economic background status families always aspire to those highly rated profession, such as Medicine, Law, Engineering and Pharmacy.

He noted that rich parents choose these courses for their children in order to maintain the status of their family.
Also, the problem of parental marital status sometime contributes to the girl-child sexual attitude as well as pregnancy. Single parents were seen to be more predictive of girl-child pregnancy than intact parents. The family is primarily the potent ground for the development of a child’s foundation to meet the developmental needs, particularly when it comes to developing an appropriate sexual behavior.

Several investigations have gone beyond bivariate relationship to show that single or divorced parents are more permissive of sexual attitudes (Thornton and Camburn, 2005), lesser parental supervision and parents own dating activity. (Whitbeck, Simons and Kao 2000) helped to explain why adolescents in some single parent families are at the increase risk of pregnancy.

Girl-child pregnancy is slowly and surely eating into the developmental process of Nigeria now prevalent in both the urban and rural area.

Most of these teenage girls as a result of pressure from them peers adhere to the advice or suggestions of their age mates who in turn influenced them negatively to agree to immoral, pre-marital and unprotected sex which in most cases result in pregnancy (unwanted). They get involved with naivety to avoid being shunned by their peers.

Financial constraints and low standard of living in the rural areas is totally instrumental in the rise of teenage girls’ pregnancy. In order for girls to meet their basic needs which their poor parents cannot provide, they ignorantly offer themselves to unscrupulous men for financial assistance, who lure them to bed for sex and thereby impregnating them.

School dropouts are the observed consequence of what becomes of these girls as they are not able to continue with their education. They will have to stay at home and wait for their delivery period, and as they stay at home.

More often than not, feeling of inferiority or superiority complex is not inherited or inherent in many circumstances and growing without the family wherein the child is born gives rise to its manifestation. A child that is born into a family with high socio-economic background status and is provided with good care, comfortable accommodation, books, educative toys, high-brow school, computer and all the paraphernalia of richness is not likely to feel inferior or withdrawn in the midst of his mates and age groups (Makinde, 2004:155).

On the contrary, a child born into a low socio-economic background, however brilliant may feel inferior about the quality of food he eats, the type of home he lives in, the tattered uniform he wears and his social exposure shall be short-circuited. The child may experience hopelessness, sadness, frustration, unfulfilled and his educational effort and self concept may hit the brick wall due to lack of the where-withal of schooling or sociability. If cared and well provided for the reverse will be the case.

There is not a lot of school education on teenage-girl pregnancy in low income school system, so a lot of teen parents in low socio-economic status have to work late hours, so this opens up the door for more opportunities for their teens to explore sexual relationship. Some studies show how ethnic minority status have been associated with increased adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI) rates.

Lower socio-economic status may negatively influence adolescents’ health by limiting their social and educational opportunities and access to health care.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Home background variables have a lot to contribute to the personality of the adolescents. Children from high socio-economic background status enjoy higher standard of living and are motivated to higher aspiration in both education and other career pursuits. Children from low socio-economic background status no matter how brilliant may feel inferior about the quality of food they eat, the type of home they live, the tattered uniform they wear, poor quality rubber sandals and the social exposure shall be short-circuited. Such children may hit the brick-wall due to these social and economic deprivation for schooling. These teenagers, because most of their basic needs were not provided for, may be tempted to look elsewhere in order to meet up with friends or peers. In doing this, they endanger their lives and future especially the girl-child who may be impregnated in due course.

In our society today, there are a lot of drop-outs in secondary schools, some as a result of pregnancy. Some of the girl-children have become teenage mother while some have been forced to early marriage and their academic pursuit suspended.

The most painful aspect is that their male counterparts that get them impregnated move on with their lives as if nothing has happened while these girl are left to their fate. If this trend is not checked, it may adversely affect girl-child education. Hence this study sought to determine home variables.

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