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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


ALVAREZ NIETO, Carmen et al. Motivations for adolescent pregnancy. Gac Sanit [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.6, pp.487-503. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To identify the motivations (beliefs, values) for adolescent pregnancy among girls aged less than 17 years old. Method: We performed a phenomenological qualitative study with audio recording of in-depth interviews with 12 pregnant adolescents between March and September 2008. Purposive sampling of pregnant adolescents (14-16 years) in the high-risk obstetric unit of the Hospital of Jaen (Spain) was performed, using education, voluntariness of pregnancy, urban-rural setting of the family residence and family socioeconomic status as heterogeneity criteria. A content analysis was performed with coding, triangulation of categories, and extraction and verification of results. Results: The adolescent's sociocultural context was of considerable weight in sexual and reproductive decisions. Adolescents with unplanned pregnancies felt that their responsibility was relative, showing an attitude of acceptance and resignation, which later became a tendency to rationalize the events and claim that the child was wanted or even planned. Girls with a wanted pregnancy did not have a clear idea of the consequences of having a child. Previous ideas about pregnancy were mainly related to physical changes without taking into account other changes that occur during and after pregnancy. Conclusions: The family context and socialization of girls are based on a traditional division of gender roles in which the traditional role of the female caregiver is strongly internalized. The reasons for teenage pregnancy are unclear; pregnant adolescents lacked a sense of self-determination and felt that their lives were determined by circumstances.

Keywords : High-risk pregnancy; Adolescent; Motivation; Gender and health; Qualitative analysis.

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