Socio-economic factors contributing to pregnancy prevention methods among adolescent girls in Mangaung
Adeleke, Moriam Oluwakemi
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Background: In South Africa, adolescent girls continue to become pregnant at an unacceptably high rate. While the fertility rate is high, the rate of contraception use remains low, consequently resulting in perpetuating the cycle of poverty. The objective of the study is to assess the socioeconomic factors associated with the different forms of contraceptive use and perceptions among adolescent girls. Methods: The study uses a secondary dataset with a sample of 300 respondents. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test, and logistic regression are used to examine the association between socioeconomic variables and the acceptability of pregnancy prevention methods. Result: Only two study variables had a significant correlation with pregnancy prevention methods; share of persons employed and the number of assets. Share of persons employed had a statistically significant (p=0.013 and p=0.027) weak, negative correlation (r=-1.43 and r=-1.28) with the use of a needle and withdrawal. The share of persons employed and the number of assets also showed a statically significant (p=0.027 and p=0.009) weak, negative correlation (r=-.128 and r=-.151) with withdrawal. The results further show a limited number of significant relationships. In the case of contraceptive injection, the requirements were not met for the Pearson chi-square, but the gamma and Kendall’s tau-b both indicated a statistically significant (p=0.024 each) weak, negative correlation (gamma=0.181 and tau-b=-0.134), indicating that higher education for the mother reduced the acceptability of contraceptive injection. In the case of condoms, the Pearson chi-square suggests a statistically significant difference, at p<0.05 (chi square=9.903, p=0.042). The gamma and Kendall’s tau-b showed a statistically significant (though only at p<0.1; p=0.062 each) weak, correlation (gamma=0.109 and tau-b=0.239), indicating that higher education reduced the acceptability of condoms. Conclusion: The findings from the study revealed that there is a minimal association of socioeconomic factors with the use and choice of contraception. Initiatives that seek to improve the use of contraceptives among adolescents in South Africa must consider attitude, cultural, and religious factors.