Voices of Young Mothers on Relational Issues Leading to Out-of-Wedlock Pregnancy and its Protective Measures: A Qualitative Exploration
INTRODUCTION: Adolescents learn through experimenting and interactions with others. Experimenting romance and sexuality issues if not properly guided, can result in an out-of-wedlock unplanned pregnancy. This study aims to explore factors leading to out-of-wedlock pregnancy among pregnant teenagers and factors that may prevent such occurrence. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two in-depth interviews (IDI) and two focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted in this qualitative study. The study involved 22 participants from a local governmental body shelter home in Peninsular Malaysia. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was used for data analysis. RESULTS: Three salient relationship themes that led to teenage pregnancy were i) an enjoyable relationship with peers, ii) poor family relationship, and iii) intimate relationship with boyfriends. Some of the proposed ways that may protect teenagers from pregnancy include i) careful selection of friends, ii) controlling the desire in risky experimentation, and iii) wiser use of smartphones or/and social media. CONCLUSION: Relational issues with parents, peers and boyfriends are important factors as it could lead to out-of -wedlock pregnancy among adolescents and youths. It is also necessary for the current educational system to emphasize on building positive relationships with peers, being more assertive, and the safe use of social media among youths.
How to Cite
All material submitted for publication is assumed to be submitted exclusively to the IIUM Medical Journal Malaysia (IMJM) unless the contrary is stated. Manuscript decisions are based on a double-blinded peer review process. The Editor retains the right to determine the style and if necessary, edit and shorten any material accepted for publication.
IMJM retain copyright to all the articles published in the journal. All final ‘proof’ submissions must be accompanied by a completed Copyright Assignment Form, duly signed by all authors. The author(s) or copyright owner(s) irrevocably grant(s) to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the research article in its entirety or in part, in any format or medium, provided that no substantive errors are introduced in the process, proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given, and that the bibliographic details are not changed. If the article is reproduced or disseminated in part, this must be clearly and unequivocally indicated.