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Table 1 Main determinants of unintended pregnancy amongst adolescents

From: Determinants of adolescent pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review



Study type

Determinants of adolescent pregnancy

Understanding sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents: evidence from a formative evaluation in Wakiso district, Uganda

2015 Uganda

Qualitative study

Sexual advances from adult males, rape, defilement, alcohol, marijuana, lack of youth counsellors, lack of sex education, inadequate education on family planning, cost of contraceptives, inadequate health workers and fear of stigma in seeking help form health workers.

Barriers to access reproductive healthcare for pregnant adolescent girls: a qualitative study in Tanzania

2015 Tanzania

Qualitative study

They viewed condoms as ineffective for preventing STIs and pregnancies and unnecessary for those in committed relationships. Stigma and long waiting times. Lack of privacy in the clinics discouraged young females from seeking reproductive healthcare, lack of privacy, unkind health care workers

Relationship dynamics and teenage pregnancy in South Africa

2001 south Africa

Exploratory study

Forced sexual initiation, unwillingness to confront unfaithful partner, partners of adolescents were older, unequal power relations, living in extended family, non-use of contraceptives, peer influence, and curiosity.

Who’s that girl? A qualitative analysis of adolescent girls’ views on factors associated with teenage pregnancies in Bolgatanga, Ghana

2016 Ghana.

Qualitative study

Material gain, positive attitude towards relationship, early sexual debut, peer influence, most parents don’t talk about safe sex with their children, male should be responsible to buy condoms, fear of ridicule, misconceptions about family planning, inability to resist temptation,

Gendered norms, sexual exploitation and adolescent pregnancy in rural Tanzania

2013, Tanzania

Qualitative study

Poverty, inability to exercise control over sexual decisions, adolescents sexual relationship with older men, early marriage, sexual expectations from men, rape, coerced sex

Adolescent pregnancy and associated factors in South African youth

2012 south Africa

Cross sectional study

Unemployment, poverty, high sexual permissive attitude, contraceptive use, didn’t understand the risk of pregnancy, to prove their maturity, unequal power in relationship

Family and community support to adolescent mothers in Swaziland

2003 Swaziland

Mixed method

Peer influence, lack of sexual and reproductive information from families and communities

Factors influencing the adolescent pregnancy rate in the Greater Giyani Municipality, Limpopo Province – South Africa

2015 south Africa

Descriptive and explorative survey

Inconvenient health services, poor relationship with health workers, peer pressure, inadequate sexual knowledge, changing attitude toward sex.

Determinants of Sexual Activity and Pregnancy among Unmarried Young Women in Urban Kenya: A Cross-Sectional Study

2015 Kenya

Cross-Sectional Study

Education level, religion, employment status, household size, family planning knowledge, misconceptions, and early sexual debut.

Unmet social needs and teenage pregnancy in Ogbomosho, South-western Nigeria

2014 Nigeria

Cross-Sectional Study

The unmet material and financial supports expected from parents, the lack of free education from government up until secondary school level, the lack of sex education and knowledge needs for signs of maturity, and discouragement from friends not to have boyfriend.

Adolescent girls, illegal abortions and “sugar-daddies” in Dar es Salaam: vulnerable victims and active social agents

2001 Tanzania

Qualitative study

Material benefits from men, high-risk sexual activity, lack of family planning information, sex education and poor health services.

Teenage pregnancy experiences in rural Kenya

2003 Kenya

Community based survey

Sexual active adolescents, unmet reproductive health needs, education level of adolescents

Health workers’ attitudes toward sexual and reproductive health services for unmarried adolescents in Ethiopia

2012 Ethiopia

descriptive cross-sectional survey

Negative attitude of health workers towards providing RH services to unmarried adolescents, low education of health workers, and lack of training on RH services.

Nurse-Midwives’ Attitudes towards Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Kenya and Zambia

2006 Kenyan and Zambia

cross-sectional survey

Negative attitudes of health workers towards adolescent sexual activity, contraceptive use and seeking reproductive health services.

Determinants of teenage pregnancies: The case of Busia District in Kenya

2007 Kenya

Cross sectional survey

Level of education, sex education, peer pressure, inappropriate form of recreation, lack of parental guidance and counselling, poverty, knowledge of contraception.

Blood Blockages and Scolding Nurses: Barriers to Adolescent Contraceptive Use in South Africa

2006 south Africa

Qualitative study

Pressure from male partners, fears about the effects of contraception, health workers attempt to stigmatize teenage sexuality, scolding and hash treatment of adolescents, unwillingness to acknowledge adolescent experience as contraceptive users.

A participatory action research approach to developing youth-friendly strategies for the prevention of teenage pregnancy

2016 South Africa

participatory action research approach

Sexual curiosity, alcohol consumption, unprotected sex, peer influence, lack of family support, parental absence, low family socioeconomic status, gender power inequality, relationship with elder men, lack of youth-friendly clinics

Socio-Cultural Determinants of Contraceptives Use Among Adolescents in Northern Ghana

2015 Ghana

Descriptive cross-sectional study

Early sexual debut, educational level, parental neglect, money, curiosity, peer pressure

Predictors of Sexual Debut Among Young Adolescents in Nairobi’s Informal Settlements

2014 kenya

Descriptive cross-sectional study

School dropout, education, severe family dysfunction, lack of parental control.

Early Pregnancy of Junior High School Girls: Causes and Implications on Academic Progression in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region Of Ghana

2015 Ghana

Cross-sectional study

Cell phone usage by teenagers, inadequate contraceptives, peer group influence, family neglect and poverty, peer group influence, lack of sex education.

Teenage Pregnancy in the Builsa District: A Focus Study in Fumbisi.

2013 Ghana

Cross-sectional study

Poverty, prostitution, inadequate sex education, inadequate family support.

The cause and effect of teenage pregnancy: case of kontagora local government area in niger state, northern part of nigeria

2013 Nigeria.

Cross-sectional study

Early sexual debut, socio-economic background, early marriage and traditional gender roles, peer pressure, lack of sex education and non-used of contraceptive during sexual intercourse.

Poverty the Cause of Teenage Pregnancy in Thulamela Municipality

2015 south Africa

Cross-sectional study

Poverty, low socio-economic family status, lack of parental support, inadequate sex education from parents, peer influence.

The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy on the Educational Attainment of Girls at Chorkor, a Suburb of Accra

2013 Ghana

Qualitative study

Poor parenting, poverty, peer influence and school dropout.