Annually, over one million adolescent girls in Nigeria become pregnant. With active participation in decision making by their caregivers and peers, more than 60% of them end up in induced abortions. Generally, peers exert major social influence on adolescent sexual behavior by playing "role model" for others in their close contact. These "role models" are the first to be contacted when any problem such as unintended pregnancy occurs and most times they are involved in counseling as well as contributing ideas to solving such a problem. This qualitative study explores peer's experiences and feelings about pregnancy termination by their adolescent peers in a typical Nigerian setting.
This was a descriptive study that utilized qualitative method for data collection from adolescent secondary school participants. Participants were recruited from four public secondary schools selected from the eleven administrative wards that make up Uyo using multistage random sampling design.
Many adolescents express support for their peers who terminated pregnancy. Reasons for their support include; avoidance of being sent out of school or home if pregnancy is discovered, avoidance of complications of childbirth including delivery through operation, consenting to mother's wish etc while those against mentioned religious sanctity of life. Some blamed the Government for not doing enough.
The ways in which adolescent students in our study express their experiences and feelings about their peers who terminated pregnancy suggests that they could play an important role in curbing this menace if properly informed and guided.