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Teenage Pregnancy Dr Angela Abela Chair National Family Commission.

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Presentation on theme: "Teenage Pregnancy Dr Angela Abela Chair National Family Commission."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teenage Pregnancy Dr Angela Abela Chair National Family Commission

2 Some Data Age of motherYear 1999 No of babies born Year 2004 No of babies born 15 years

3 Some Comments As the girls grow older, the number of those becoming pregnant increases 23.3% of all births of women between 17 and 24 are out of wedlock Is this a case of teenage pregnancy? Or is it an increasing tolerance for children out of wedlock? Why is this happening?

4 Predisposing Factors for teenage pregnancy 0-18 Living with a single parent Mothers with an adolescent pregnancy Having older sexually active siblings Having pregnant/parenting teenage sisters In a lower SES family Being a victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse Living in stress, depression and conflict at home

5 Difficulties in their relations outside the family More submissive and exhibit poorer interpersonal communication abilities Partners tend to be 2 to 4 years older, with low educational achievment Residing in disorganised/dangerous neighborhood

6 School Context Lower levels of education Lower educational aspirations & performance Higher levels of school dropout

7 What decreases the risk? Parent-child closeness or connectedness not intrusiveness or control Parental supervision Parents’values against teen intercourse (Miller, 2002)

8 Who is more likely to abort? Those who are more educationally ambitious From higher socioeconomic backgrounds Are from less religious families Have parents and peers who support abortion (Hofferth & Hayes,1987) Last year, In Malta 63 were reported to have had an abortion in UK alone. Most go to Italy.

9 The Maltese Experience Initial reactions Disclosing the pregnancy Deciding what to do with the baby The importance of family support read from Dissertation by Graziella Zammit p.33

10 The Boys Often forgotten A research gap Who are they? Research shows that they have a very similar profile to the girls. Read from dissertation page 53,54 & 56

11 The Way Forward More research regarding the Maltese Context in order for us to be able to formulate effective policies. Eg Richardson (2001) from Ireland reports: 1. the understanding and use of contraception prior to their pregnancy was limited Is the case in Malta? 2. for those who had received sex education in school over half of them felt it was of no value to them. Again what about the situation here in Malta?

12 Mahon et al Young women felt they would be stigmatised for being sexually active in the eyes of their parents,doctor or authority figure if they approached them concerning contraceptives and therefore were making decisions about its use on the basis of what method carried least risk of discovery by their parents. 2. Also adolescents tend to be impulsive and engage in risky behaviour. Why are Maltese adolescents not making more use of contraceptives?

13 For some young girls their life experiences of school alienation, unemployment and lack of career prospects make them view early parenthood as less problematic (Luker, 1996) Is this the case in Malta for the older girls?


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