The psychosocial experiences of teenage learners in two selected secondary schools in the Ubumbano circuit at Impendle.
This study sought to explore and understand the psychosocial experiences of teenage mothers who have been pregnant while at school and find out how they have navigated these experiences in their academic lives. The study was conducted in two selected secondary schools in the Ubumbano circuit at Impendle. Research designs were plans that are used by the researcher to collect data. The research approach which was used in this study was qualitative and attempted to produce subjective data through involving the opinions, feelings and experiences of teenage mothers, which was underpinned by the interpretive paradigm. The narrative inquiry was employed in generating research data, since it is a discipline within a qualitative approach. The experiences were explored at three levels namely the discovery phase, delivery phase and post-pregnancy phases. Connelly and Clandinin (1990) indicated that narratives enable the researcher to discover and understand the inner world of the individual (teenage mothers). This methodology gave meaning to events and circumstances and personalised data, providing an understanding of how an experience was lived (Roux, 2011). The participants in this study included six learners who were pregnant while in school. The six learners were sampled purposively. The study used the following tools: semistructured interview and questionnaire. The study employed an inductive data analysis plan which is underpinned by the qualitative study. Therefore in this study data was analysed by the researcher using themes that emerged from data collected, and data was related to the theory of Erickson psychosocial development which was used as a framework for this study. A thematic analysis was used to analyse the audio taped data from the transcribed interviews. The key findings showed that the learners experienced emotional problems in various forms concerning their pregnancy. Some of the learners experienced support from their immediate members such as parents, friends, educators and the father of the child. Furthermore learners experienced challenges around the caring demands of the baby and the schoolwork which could have resulted in them dropping out of school. However, all teenagers succeeded even though they had experienced emotional problems, financial difficulties, childrearing problems and school demands as well. These participants demonstrated strong ability in facing these situations irrespective of whatever complications stood against them.
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