Document Detail

A comparative study of adoloscents' perceived stress and health outcomes among adolescent mothers and their infants in Lesotho.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17515312     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare perceived stress in general, stress due to pregnancy, and post partum complications between a group of unmarried adolescent first-time mothers and a group of married adolescent first-time mothers. Never-pregnant adolescents served as a comparison group on perceived stress. Health outcomes of infants of the two groups of adolescent mothers were also compared on birth weight, nutritional status (weight gain) and immunization status. METHODS: The study design was non-experimental, comparative and descriptive. A convenience sample of dyads of 64 unmarried adolescent mothers and their infants, 64 married adolescents and their infants, and 64 high school students participated in this study. Data were collected in 3 hospitals, 2 health centres (clinics) and a high school in Lesotho. The differences between the three groups of adolescents in perceived stress, were determined using ANOVA. The t-test was used to determine the differences between the group of unmarried adolescent mothers and the group of married mothers on stress due to pregnancy. The difference in postpartum complications between these two groups of adolescent mothers was determined using Chi-square. The t-test was also used to determine differences in birth weight, nutritional status and immunization status between the group of infants of unmarried mothers and infants of married mothers. FINDINGS: Findings of this study revealed significant differences in perceived stress between both groups of adolescent mothers and the group of never pregnant adolescents (p < .0001). The Chaffe' test revealed that never pregnant adolescents had lowest levels of perceived stress than both groups of adolescent mothers (p < .0001). Both groups of adolescent mothers had high levels of stress due to pregnancy and the difference between the two groups was non-significant. No differences were observed between infant health outcomes of unmarried mothers and infants of married mothers. The infants of both groups were generally healthy and the majority of them had appropriate type and doses of immunizations six weeks post birth. CONCLUSION: Adolescent mothers in the low lands of Lesotho perceive pregnancy to be a stressful event despite marriage. Therefore adolescents should be discourage from early childbirth. Policy makers need to come up with gender sensitive policies that will make it easier for girls who get pregnant to continue with their education, so that they may be productive and self-reliant.
E M Yako
Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Multicenter Study    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Curationis     Volume:  30     ISSN:  0379-8577     ISO Abbreviation:  Curationis     Publication Date:  2007 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-05-22     Completed Date:  2007-07-05     Revised Date:  2009-11-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7901092     Medline TA:  Curationis     Country:  South Africa    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  15-25     Citation Subset:  N    
University of Fort Hare, Department of Nursing Sciences, PO Box 1054, East London.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Case-Control Studies
Cross-Sectional Studies
Health Status*
Marital Status*
Mothers / psychology*
Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology*
South Africa
Stress, Psychological*

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