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Understanding premarital pregnancy experiences of young mothers in women shelters: Developing a model for intervention

Hillaluddin, Azlin Hilma and Mat Saad, Zarina and Marzuki, Najib Ahmad (2014) Understanding premarital pregnancy experiences of young mothers in women shelters: Developing a model for intervention. Project Report. Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok. (Unpublished)

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Being pregnant and unmarried is a highly stigmatized phenomenon in Malaysian society. However, stigma alone has not been successful in preventing adolescents and young adults from committing premarital sexual relations.Unwanted pregnancy could lead to problematic decision making behavior such as baby abandonment, or health and mental health issues such as depression and trauma.Specifically, studies have found that pregnancy involving adolescents is linked to health hazards, substance abuse, impediment to education, and costs to the government. Nevertheless, there are young women who choose to continue their pregnancy despite experiencing trauma and stigma of being pregnant out-of-wedlock.Therefore, this research seeks to examine the experiences of unmarried teenagers and young women who choose to continue their pregnancy while staying in women shelters.The research utilizes a mixed methods approach, incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods.A total of 101 participants were recruited from five women shelters across the country who responded to self-administered questionnaires. Eighteen participants were selected as participants in the qualitative study by means of semi-structured interviews. The findings indicate that a majority engaged in their first sexual intercourse during secondary school age.Majority also had social circles (i.e., family and friends) who engaged in premarital sex and pregnancy.The main reason for seeking shelter was to avoid shame and embarrassment for being pregnant out of wedlock.In the interviews, none of the participants reported having discussion with their parents about sexual issues or pregnancy.Sources of information regarding sexuality involve friends and school. The participants also reported moderate levels of emotional intelligence (EQ), spiritual intelligence (SQ), peer pressure and popularity (i.e., wanting to be popular). EQ was found to be negatively correlated with peer pressure. Age at first sex was negatively correlated with peer pressure, popularity, and SQ. Recommendations for intervention involved six aspects; namely family support, spiritual needs, psychosocial needs, health care needs, educational/career plan, and plan for the baby.Specific care in the assessment should also be given to pregnancy cause (i.e., consensual vs. rape/incest).

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: School of Applied Psychology, Social Work & Policy
Depositing User: Dr. Azlin Hilma Hillaluddin
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2014 01:42
Last Modified: 17 May 2016 07:26
URI: http://repo.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/12780

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