The experiences of teenage mothers living in Katlehong, Mofokeng section : a retrospective study

Malwa, Khutso
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Most people consider teenage pregnancy as a disaster (Mpanza&Nzima, 2010). However this research study aims to question the above assumption through exploring the experiences of teenage mothers that live in Katlehong, in an area called Mofokeng Section. This study was able to retrospectively view teenage pregnancy from the perspective of those who were teenage mothers, and to explore their future aspirations. The research adopted a qualitative approach and an exploratory research design. Nine participants were selected by using purposive sampling. The individual semi- structured interviews were tape- recorded with the participant’s permission for the collection of data and to analyse the data. The tape recorded interviews were transcribed and emerging themes from the written material were identified. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The study will contribute to the already existing research and knowledge on teenage pregnancy in the discipline but the difference is that the contexts will differ. Six out of the nine teenage mothers expressed having moments of regrets and having financial challenges after the child was born. All nine of the teenage mothers have expressed that they did not get any form of support from the community that they were part of instead they felt judged and unwanted. The majority of the teenage mothers have also expressed that family and friends have played a significant role pre and post pregnancy. It was also found that the mothers of the teenage mothers are the ones that helped them cope as teenage mothers therefore illustrating the importance of the teenage mothers’ mothers during and after their pregnancy. The themes that emerged from the study include teenage mothers’ experiences relating to the pregnancy; social support networks of teenage mothers; and future aspirations of teenage mothers. This study overall showed the strength and resilience of these teenage mothers as they continue to achieve their goals and provide for their children. Keywords: teenage mothers, experiences, teenage pregnancy
The Department of Social Work School of Human and Community Development Faculty of Humanities University of the Witwatersrand In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Social Work