Publication Date

2011-07-20

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2011-07-27

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Nursing (Nursing)

Date of Defense

2011-07-08

First Committee Member

Doris Ugarriza

Second Committee Member

Joseph DeSantis

Third Committee Member

Rosemary Hall

Fourth Committee Member

Joyce Thompson

Abstract

In The Bahamas between the years 2,000 to 2007, the percentage of single mothers under the age of 20 years accounted for 11.3 – 12.7% of all births in the country. Mothers between the ages of 10 -14 years accounted for 0.1 – 0.4 % of all births and mothers age 15 -19 years accounted for 11.2 – 12.6% of all births during the same time period. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of empowerment among pregnant adolescents living in The Bahamas aged 18-19 years by testing the levels of autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, relationship with others, purpose in life and religiosity. The findings of the study may well be used to highlight areas for future research in pregnancy prevention programs for adolescents in The Bahamas. Sample: The sample for this study was 105 pregnant adolescent females 18 and 19 years of age attending ante-natal clinics in The Bahamas. Measures: The self- administered questionnaires included demographic information, obstetric history, Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Well-Being and Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith. Analyses: Data collected from the questionnaires were entered into SPSS for analysis. Descriptive statistics was obtained. Correlation analysis was performed to determine the significance among demographic data and levels autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, relationship with others, purpose in life and religiosity. Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the variance explained between the number of pregnancies and level of health empowerment. Results: The Pearson’s correlation was calculated to answer the research questions of the relationship of level of autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, relationship with others, purpose in life, self acceptance, religiosity and overall health empowerment with number of pregnancies of 18 and 19 year old pregnant females. Number of pregnancies was negatively correlated with all dimensions of psychological well-being, religiosity and overall empowerment. Due to the small number in the sample with repeated pregnancy (19 of 105) the correlations were not statistically significant, except personal growth. Number of pregnancies was negatively correlated but not statistically significant with personal growth. Number of pregnancies was negatively correlated and statistically significant with current enrollment in school. Pregnancy outcome and delivery type were positively correlated and statistically significant with number of pregnancies. Overall health empowerment levels was negatively correlated with history of depression and positively correlated with religiosity. Level of education and religiosity were positively correlated and statistically significant to the level of health empowerment for the adolescents in this study. Conclusions: Based on the results of this study, level of education and religiosity are predictors of levels of health empowerment and type of delivery and the outcome of the pregnancy are predictors to the number of pregnancies in pregnant adolescents 18 and 19 years old in The Bahamas.

Keywords

Adolescent; Empowerment; Pregnant; The Bahamas

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