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Prenatal Care and Infant Mortality Among Low Income Adolescent Mothers in Karu Nasarawa State Nigeria

Prenatal Care and Infant Mortality Among Low Income Adolescent Mothers in Karu Nasarawa State Nigeria

Prenatal Care and Infant Mortality Among Low Income Adolescent Mothers in Karu Nasarawa State Nigeria

Chapter One

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To find out whether mother of low income cause infant mortality in Karu Nasarawa
  2. To ascertain whether prenatal care in affordable to low income adolescent mothers in karu, Nasarawa
  3. To find out if there is a difference between infant mortality rate according to the mother’s age, race, income level, marital status, parity, use of prenatal care, and infant birth weight



Characteristics of the Pregnant Adolescent


Teen-age pregnancy in the United States today is a social and health problem of major dimensions. Baldwin (5) states that, although the birth-rate among teen-agers has actually fallen in recent years from a high of 97.3 births per 1,000 teen-agers in 1957 to 58.7 per 1,000 births in 1974, births to teen-agers today figure more prominently among all births. Though the numbers are decreasing for teen-agers, the number of births to older women is decreasing even more rapidly. While teen-age. births accounted for 14 percent of all births in 1960, the number had increased to 19 percent by 1974. Though there had been a .decrease .in the birth-rate among adolescents, the actual number of births had increased. Between 1960 and 1974, the number of women aged ten to nineteen increased from around fifteen million to over twenty million and, while the annual number of births for this group varied only slightly, the country saw an increase in the number of births to teenage women.


Research from many sources indicates that a composite picture of today’s teen-age mother would reveal a young teen-ager who is black, poor, and undereducated. This young mother would be from a broken home, and would exhibit characteristics of insecurity, rebelliousness, and an extremely low self-image (1; 3; 7; 10; 26; 36; 47). This was not an inclusive picture, but one which frequently recurred among studies of pregnant teenagers Baldwin (5) and Juhasz (34) found a much higher birth rate among black mothers than white mothers. A wide difference existed between births to nonwhite teen-agers and white teenagers in 1967 The teen-age birth rate was higher for nonwhites than for whites; at age fourteen, blacks gave birth to twelve more infants than whites with the difference increasing to fifty-five at age sixteen and to seventyfive at age eighteen. One reason for the disparity, according to Baldwin, was the greater sexual activity encountered by nonwhite girls at a younger age due to earlier maturation of the reproductive systems. By age eleven, 21 percent of black girls were menstruating as compared with only 11 percent of white girls. Bacon (3), Johnson (32), and Juhasz (34) found the probability of living in poverty much greater among teen-age mothers than among older mothers. As illustrated in Figure 2, the incidence of poverty among mothers aged thirteen to fifteen was approximately twice as great as it was at age twenty-two plus. Further, the chances of being poor were two to three times greater for blacks than for whites.

Bacon (3, p. 339) found that a greater number of young mothers were undereducated than older mothers. The educational attainment for teen-age mothers in 1967 (see Figure 3) decreased as the age of the mother decreased. Six out of every ten women who had a child at age sixteen or younger had eight or fewer years of education. One in eight finished high school and fewer than two out of every one-hundred went beyond high school. Perhaps more noteworthy than the overall teen-age childbirth rates is the increasing illegitimacy rate. According to Baldwin (5, p. 7), the illegitimacy rate for women over age twenty dropped between 1960 and 1974 (see Table I), but increased by 52 percent for women aged fifteen to nineteen. Further, Baldwin found that, while there was an increase in illegitimacy for each age group between 1960 and 1974 among teen-age mothers, the eighteen- to nineteen-year-old mother had the largest percent increase even though there was a decreasing amount of illegitimate births as the teen-ager became older (5, p. 8).


Numerous studies have been done in seeking a psychological explanation for the phenomena of teen-age pregnancies (7; 20; 26; 33; 44; 48). These studies looked at the problem from all angles, including asking the girls themselves why they became pregnant. In hoping to find answers to questions such as, “How do they think and feel about themselves?” and “In what respects do their self-perceptions differ from nonpregnant teen-agers?”, Zongher (48) administered a self-concept instrument over a period of two years to a group of pregnant teen-agers. The test was also given to a control group who had characteristics coinciding as closely as possible with the sample group. Scores were compared not only between the two groups, but also with the published norms for the test. Zongher found that the pregnant adolescents had an extremely low self-concept. Self-perceptions dealing with self-identity, and family and social relationships were especially low, while behavior and moral-ethical measures fell into a “deviancy” category. Many of the scores were so low that they resembled scores made by people with psychosis, personality disorders, and general maladjustment. The scores showed the girls to be defensive, unstable, over-compensating, and filled with conflict. Further findings revealed that the school-age mothers had significantly fewer fathers or stepfathers living at home. The results of numerous other studies coincide with this particular study by Zongher (7; 20; 26; 33; 44). Barglow (7) found the school-age mother characterized by a breakdown in communication, especially with the mother, with whom there was a relationship fraught with hostility, great intensity, and insolubility. Further findings indicate that violent arguments existed in the homes of the teen-age mother, often including physical fights, that many times the teen-ager no longer accepted responsibility for chores at home or work at school, and that relationships with the opposite sex started at a, very young age. The girls felt unloved, specifically in relation to the mother, most did not have a father at home, and onethird had a second illegitimate baby within twelve months. In questioning 150 unwed teen-age mothers, Ahe (1) discovered a deep relationship usually existed between the mother and the alleged father. Three significant factors relating to the cause of the pregnancy were found as a result of this study–early dating, lack of sex education, and lack of parental supervision. Curtis (20) developed a questionnaire to test for correlation of interpersonal relationships and interests or hobbies between pregnant and nonpregnant adolescents.






In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.


Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.


According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitute of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.

This study was carried to examine Prenatal care and infant mortality among low income adolescent mothers. Mothers in Karu Nasarawa State Nigeria form the population of the study.




This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.




It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain Prenatal care and infant mortality among low income adolescent mothers in Karu Nasarawa State Nigeria. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of Prenatal care and infant mortality among low income adolescent mothers


This study was on Prenatal care and infant mortality among low income adolescent mothers in Karu Nasarawa State Nigeria.. Three objectives were raised which included; To find out whether mother of low income cause infant mortality in Karu Nasarawa, to ascertain whether prenatal care in affordable to low income adolescent mothers in karu, Nasarawa and to find out if there is a difference between infant mortality rate according to the mother’s age, race, income level, marital status, parity, use of prenatal care, and infant birth weight. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from Karu Nasarawa State Nigeria. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).


In conclusion, many variables significantly influenced the mother’s use of prenatal care, which in turn influenced the infant’s birth weight, which seemed to be highly correlated, along with other variables, to the number of infant deaths. The findings from this study agree with other studies that, found the low income, black, adolescent mother to be a high pregnancy risk mainly due to prenatal care being started at a late date, which then can lead to additional problems concerning the infant.


Due to the influence infant birth weight has on infant mortality, further study should be done concerning variables other than prenatal care which may affect the infant’s birth weight. Factors which may be related to birth weight, but were not tested in the present study, include mother’s use of alcohol and tobacco, mother’s nutrition, race, educational level, marital status, and age.


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  •  Barnes, Donna and Kyriakos S. Markides, “Between Infant Mortality and Socioeconomics Status with Evidence from San Antonio, Texas, ” . Soc ial Biology, 24 (Spring, 1977), 38-43. 4. .
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  • Jekel, James F. , Lorranine U. Klerman, and M. Elisabeth Lorenzi, “School-Age Parents: How Permanent a Relationship,” Adolescence, 12 (Spring, 1977), 13-22. 10.
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