Determinants of Adolescent Pregnancy in Luuka District, Eastern Uganda: A Mixed Methods Study
Adolescent pregnancy is a serious public health and social
problem. Over 95% of adolescent pregnancy cases occur in developing countries. Understanding
and addressing the determinants of adolescent pregnancy is crucial to ending the
vice. This study aimed to explore factors associated with adolescent pregnancy in
Luuka District, in Uganda. An embedded mixed methods study design was used. Primary
data was collected from 336 adolescent girls, aged 10–19 years, selected through
simple random sampling, using a case-control survey, with a structured questionnaire.
In addition, qualitative data was collected through 20 in-depth interviews and 16
focus group discussions. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were done using SPSS
for descriptive, bivariate (i.e., Chi-square tests), multivariable analyses (i.e.,
logistics regression) used for determining independent associations and content
analysis respectively. Findings revealed multiple factors influencing adolescent
pregnancy including behavioral factors: such as having multiple sexual partners,
frequent sex, lack of self-control over sex and irregular contraceptive use; familial
factors: peer pressure, being an orphan living with mother, sexual abuse, and socioeconomic
factors such as poverty. In conclusion: behavioral, demographic, familial and socioeconomic
factors are major determinants of adolescent pregnancy in Luuka District. We recommend
interventions focusing on providing information on sexual and reproductive health,
including improving access to contraceptives for adolescent girls. Improving socio-economic
status of families, legal punishment of sexual offenders, as well as keeping girls
in school to mitigate effects of adolescent pregnancy in the low-income settings.
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