The Cultural Factors Contributing to the Rise of Teenage Pregnancy in Society

Teenage pregnancy is a growing social problem in a society today. It is defined as a teenage girl, usually within the ages of 13 to 19, becoming pregnant. The term in everyday talking usually refers to girls who have not reached legal adulthood, which varies across the world, who become pregnant. It is a health issue that has an effect on all of us. A child having a baby as a teenager is more likely to face critical social factors like poverty, poor education, risky behaviors that lead to poor health issues, and child welfare.

The financial cost of teens having babies is financially devastating. (National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (2014).

Teenage pregnancy affects over millions of young teens. Over the past few decades, teenage pregnancy has become a public concern which has generated a great deal of attention in the locality. Increasing awareness of the social and economic consequences of teenage pregnancy has led to a consensus opinion among policy makers and the public that teenage pregnancy and child bearing is a significant social problem (Torivillas, The Philippine Star, 2013).

Factors that contribute to teenage pregnancies include adolescent sexual behavior, alcohol and drug use, lack of education and information about reproductive sexual health including lack of access to tools that prevent pregnancies, peer pressure to engage in sexual activity, incorrect use of contraception, sexual abuse that leads to rape, poverty, exposure to abuse, violence and family strife at home, low self-esteem, and low educational ambitions and goals (Darroch and Singh 1998, UNICEF 2008).

Don Carlos Bukidnon is still in intensifying community, cases of teenage pregnancy usually become a big issue to the neighbors and to the whole community.

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The family of the victim is in trauma discovering that their teenager was some months on her way already. Almost everybody is blaming the pregnant teenager of the consequences of her misdeeds .They focused their judgment to the victim but they did not bother to ask why and what where behind of indulging sex at teens and got pregnant not at the right time (Health and Home pp.13, 2003).

It is therefore the purpose of this study is to assess the social and cultural factors of teenage pregnancy in Don Carlos Bukidnon. The assessment tool could be triangulated through focus group discussion and structured interview.

This study is anchored Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, which emerged during the 1960s and 1970s, emphasizes “the reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral and environmental determinants of human behavior” (Bandura, 1977: vii). People learn new behaviors by watching others in a social situation, absorb it and then imitate that behavior. The Social Learning Theory is based on four fundamental premises consisting of differential association, definitions, differential reinforcements and imitation (Akers and Sellers, 2004).

According to differential association, those with whom they are in contact with, both directly and indirectly, expose people to acceptable and unacceptable behaviors as well as a variety of behavioral models. Individual’s immediate social circle generate behavioral models, which become a source of imitating behavior. The immediate social circle includes family, friends, teachers, neighbors and church groups. Next, definitions are what an individual interprets to be acceptable behavior and correct values and attitudes for themselves. Definitions are usually developed and reinforced through the process of differential association. If definitions conform to conventional and traditional values, then certain behaviors and actions would automatically be reduced.

For instance, if definitions approve violent and criminal actions it would encourage an individual to adopt this path of behavioral conduct (Akers and Sellers, 2004). Differential Reinforcement can be described as the process by which individuals experience and anticipate the consequences of their actions. If the consequences are unpleasant, it might hinder the future occurrence of the same behavior (Akers and Sellers, 2004). Reinforcement of values, attitudes and beliefs acquired through differential association and imitation can be either positive or negative. Positive reinforcement increases the likelihood of the same behavior through pleasant outcomes and rewards. While negative reinforcement tries to remove or reduce behavior from occurring through punishment and harsh negative consequences.

Reinforcement thus, contributes towards the repetition of that behavior. Reinforcements usually come from society and outside surroundings i.e., their interactions with peer groups and family members (Akers and Sellers, 2004). Finally, the last element is imitation. Individuals engage in behaviors previously witnessed from others. People observe characteristics of the models, their behavior and the aftermath of that behavior, and then imitate them. To a large extent, the people with whom one is in immediate contact will become sources of imitations (Akers and Sellers, 2004).

Social Learning Theory can be effectively used to understand the occurrence of Teenage Pregnancy in the society. The concepts of Differential Association, Definitions, and imitation can be used to explore the different facets of Social and Cultural Factors, these social groups communicate attitudes, views, values that an individual can adopt and inculcate. They also spell out appropriate social behavioral codes of conduct (Akers and Sellers, 2004). To a large extent, the people with whom one is in immediate contact will become sources of imitations (Akers and Sellers, 2004).

This study assess the social and cultural factors on teenage pregnancy in Don Carlos, Bukidnon, 2016-2017.

Specifically, it sought to answer the following:

  1. What problems do these young mothers face during and after pregnancy?
  2. What strategies can be implemented to help these teenage mothers to emerge as a confident young women?
  3. What factors contribute to the increasing problem of teenage pregnancy?

The result of this study will be benefited by the following group. This will be helpful to the teenage mother, parents, to the community, school, researchers and other interested individuals because this can serve as empirical data where suggestion of minimizing teenage pregnancy.

The teenage mother will be benefited from this study to be able them to understand their lives and situations on their difficulties and issues. Understanding the factors empowered them to adjust and to adopt the consequences of how this situation affects them socially and culturally.

Parents will be beneficial from this study, thus may enlighten them about the social and cultural factors of teenage pregnancy for them to be aware of the issues and enable them to realize their great role in educating their teenagers, protecting and diverting them from indulging early sex especially if without marriage. They must be aware too of what kind of peers their teenagers have. This will also make the parents aware that education about the use of contraceptives will start at home.

School will be beneficial from this study, It’s one way that administrators will intensify sex education on their school, improve the knowledge of their faculties or teachers through seminars so that they can deal well with students to avoid pregnancy at early age. This study will also benefit to future researchers. It would provide them information of the importance of knowing the major factors behind early pregnancy and the possible effects on teenagers.

The researcher expected that the result of this study would also be a great help to future researchers and to all people who are interested to know more about social and cultural factors of teenage pregnancy.

The study was delimited to the assessment on social and cultural factors of teenage pregnancy among teenagers in Don Carlos, Bukidnon. This was further delimited to the social and cultural factors of teenage pregnancy based on the Bandura Social Learning Theory, (1977). The selection of this study was considered sufficient because the researcher found out that Don Carlos, Bukidnon has a growing cases of teenage pregnancy during the year of 2016-2017.

The study uses a qualitative approach which will utilize purposive random sampling with the use of structure interview as primary method in gathering data and focus group discussion technique used for the authentication and validation of the research output. Responses were delimited to the personal ideas, opinions and experiences of teenagers as a participants of this study.

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The Cultural Factors Contributing to the Rise of Teenage Pregnancy in Society. (2023, Feb 18). Retrieved from

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