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Community psychology entails the concepts of relationships between persons to communities and the entire wider society. The aspect of community psychology employs several psychological aspects and viewpoints of the issues being addressed by characters within and outside the community and the society as a whole and lastly the attitudes of the people about the issues. Community psychology developed out of the community mental health association but it advanced radically due to early practitioners who dedicated their understanding of thepoliticalformations and other contexts of the community into the viewpoints on the client services. Community psychologists pursue to understand and appreciate the guilty of life of individual in a given community or society with the main aim of enhancing and improving the quality and standard of life via the collaborative research and action (Stephen, 2008).
Community psychology also entails the ecological viewpoint with the individual and environment relation study instead of the process of attempting to change the individual or the environment and the issue or problem that is associated with the issues. Community psychology just like public health aims at the development of a preventive mechanism an issue. This involves the community psychologists' process of prevention of issue before they start, instead of waiting for a small problem to grow to big issue (Stephen, 2008).
According to Stephen (2008), the major roles of community psychologists include the creation and evaluation of programs and policies that are major issues in the community. These policies help the individuals affected by the issue to control their worrying aspects in the community and the surrounding environments. Second, they access the requirements of the community and educate the community members on how an incipient issue can be recognized and dealt with before the issue turns out to be intractable. Third, the community psychologist have the role of studying and implementing more humane and effective techniques of for formerly established populations to live lives that are productive in the normal society.In this paper, the major problem is teenage pregnancy and it is the program from a personal viewpoint in the community.
The formal definition for teenage pregnancy is the pregnancy in a woman who has not yet clocked her 20th birthday. Regardless of the marital status, a woman who is within the age bracket of 14-21 years, if she gets pregnant it is referred to as teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy is caused by a number of factors (Kirby, 2001).
Teenage pregnancy has been identified as the program due to its increasingly high levels in most of the community in the contemporary society. For instance, in the United States community, the issue of teenage is a major concern to the individuals in that society. In one calendar year, almost one million teenagers get pregnant. Planning of an effective method and solutions to this issue has been a majored by community psycholo9gist and researchers. Despite the modest techniques of reducing this issue, teenage pregnancy has remained at significant high levels in many societies. This issue affects almost all countries in the world. However, due to the complexity of the matter it shall be discussed in few countries like the United States that will represent the rest of the societies in other countries that face the same problem in their communities.
In the United States, the Virginia state is community that ids adversely affected by this issue. However, due to the implementation of the aspect of community psychology, this issue has shown some decrease thanks to the community psychologists and other factors that contributed to the reducing and control of this community problem. For instance, in the year 2005, the rate of teen pregnancy had declined from a high of 48.4 teenage pregnancies in 1000 females of the age bracket of 15 to 19 years to the rate of 34.4 of the females of the same age bracket in the same year. In order to understand the reason as to why the community refers to the issue of teenage pregnancy as major issue and concern, it is important to study the factors which exist inside and outside the community that cause the issue (Rosenthal et al, 2009).
Cause of Teenage Pregnancy
In most of the societies, teenage pregnancy is as a result of the major factors namely the early marriage and thetraditional gender roles. These are the factors that are commonly present in the communities that live in the sub- Saharan communities. For instance, in the Western African communities, teenage pregnancy is viewed as a blessing as it is a proof that the female is fertile. In the Indian sub continent, early marriages that result to teenagepregnancies are viewed as common traditions in the community. In the developed countries like the United States, the issue of teenage pregnancy is not accepted at all. The above vary factors that lead to the causes of teenage pregnancy show that this issue depends on the community psychological viewpoint. In the above cases, only the individuals in the United States vies the teenage pregnancy as a major concern in their societies. The causes of teenage pregnancy in communities that view this as a problem include the following; sexuality, contraceptives, sexual abuse, age discrepancy in relationships, media influence and the childhood environment (Rosenthal et al, 2009).
Sexuality- In the developed countries, sexual behaviors and relationships among the teenagers are accepted, however, these teenagers lack a lot of information that is very vital about sexuality. Teenage pregnancy is one of the causes due to this lack of knowledge (Kirby, 2001).
The other minor causes of teenage pregnancy include the lack of knowledge on the existence and use of contraceptives, ignorance, socio economic factors and age difference in relationships.
Sexual abuse- 11 to 12 percent of the teenage pregnancies are as a result of relationships in which they were sexually abused on their time of conceiving. Therefore, the intercourse is voluntary fro individuals such as boyfriends, teachers, strangers and in some cases members who are relatives. This eventually leads to teenage pregnancy (Kirby, 2001).
Media influence- according to a survey that was conducted by some community psychologists, the research showed that a bigger percentage of the victims of teenage pregnancies were individuals who were largely exposed to sexuality in the media and as a result out of curiosity they wanted to try themselves and eventually led to conceiving due to lack of knowledge on the subject of sex (Kirby, 2001).
Childhood environment- female who are exposed to aspect such as domestic violence in their childhood life are likely to get pregnant as teenagers, this is due to their adverse childhood experiences such as sexual exposure and violence.
Purpose of the teenage pregnancy control program
Teenage pregnancy is considered to be one of the most critical concern to the community psychologists and the entire individuals in a most societies fro m my own personal perspective. This is due to its effects on the social, economic and the economic future on the individuals facing this issue. Poor development of children is negative outcomes as a result of teenage pregnancy as the teen mothers expose their offspring to increased risks due to their lack of knowledge of parenting, ignorance, fear and embarrassment. The lack of parental care and the physical development of the mother that is immature lead to cases of babies which are delivered with low weights. Cases of babies' born with under or low weights are mostly experienced with teenage mothers. This results to a community that has more children with deformities due to poor development (Kirby, 2001).
Teenage mothers are likely to drop out of their studies or take longer that it is required to finish their studies as they are forced to terminate the schooling during the pregnancy period and approximately the first two years of the children growth. Researches from various researchers show that teenage mothers are less likely to complete their secondary and college education. This leads to increase in the number of the uneducated individuals in the community. Lack of quality education places these individuals at a significantly disadvantaged position when it comes to seeking for job opportunities unlike the case of their peers who had the chance to proceed with their education.as as a result, they get jobs that have low incomes and this drags the economy of the entire country behind.
Most of the national campaign for the prevention of teenage pregnancy in most of the countries highlights on the chance of probability of increased levels of poverty in cases of teenage pregnancy. Teen mothers are exposed to the dangers of having subsequent births within short intervals, thus results of families with many children are evident. Families with more children that it can handle mean that they are exposed to higher chances of poverty and inaccessibility of resources (Kirby, 2001).
Thus, it is vividly clear that teenage pregnancy control is an issue that should be on the forefront to be eradicated and controlled in most of the communities. This is due to the effects that it has to the victim, the baby, the community and the country's economy in general.
Relevant concerns of Teenage Pregnancy from a Historical Perspective
Historically, the issue of teenage pregnancy is viewed from both the normal point of view and the abnormal point of view in the previous centuries. Perhaps, the best and most famous teenage pregnancy that is a good evidence of how the historical societies viewed teenage pregnancy in relation to the view points of the contemporary society was seen by Mary, the mother of Jesus. However, no clear sources indicate how in exact her age was but she was believed to be between 13 to 17 years. This was among the fewer societies that viewed teenage pregnancy at a good angle. Contrary to this, most are the concerns that have been put to emphasize historically to the present times in most of the countries in the world. (Kirby, 2001)The major worries of teenage pregnancy that are historical and still identified in the current programs are discussed below.
The first major concern that has existed regarding the issue of teenage pregnancy over time includes the issue of the health problem of the young mother and the new born child. Debates have arisen regarding the appropriate age that a female has the capability of motherhood without complications which occur as a result of immature development of the mother. In the developed countries like the United States, teenage pregnancies have been associated with health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, mental illness, and cancer. Therefore, teenage pregnancy has for over a long time had had concerns on the issue of public health. A report by UNICEF shows that for a long time, parents, politicians and health physicians warn people against the issue of teenage pregnancy.
This is due to the fact that teenage parenthood has significant demerits in the today's world that requires one to have extended levels of education in order to succeed well in life due to securing of well paying jobs in the market. Due to their tender age, most teenage mother lack health insurance and as a result they are not able to access high quality health care facilities. Lack of high quality medical care facilities is linked with nutritional deficiencies as a result of poor feeding habits from the teen mothers via activities such as the need to lose weight through dieting, skipping of meals and consumption of fast foods. They forget that they are mothers and as a result they are likely get affected by health problems (Weinstein, 1987)
The second concern of teenage pregnancy that has had a lot of worries in history and in the contemporary research includes the psychosocial effect. The psychosocial effects include the socioeconomic and psychological concerns to the mother, to the child and to the entire community.
To the mother- being a teenage mother in a country that is developed has large effects on the education of the teen mother, high school and college dropouts are the individuals who comprise of teenage mothers, this being an implication that they do not complete their education or them taking a longer time to complete their education. This adversely affects the employment and social class aspect in an industrialized country. This is due to the major fact that the there exist a correlation between the teenage pregnancy and the school drooping and the career opportunities for most of the young women worldwide. A study that was conducted in the United Kingdom shows that only 11% in 100 teenage mothers receive a salary. Viewing this issue from an economic perspective, the United Kingdom is one of the industrialized countries and the effects of teenage pregnancy have large effects to the country's economy. Therefore, this is a direct that the percentage of teenage mothers who receive a salary in the developing countries is likely to be relatively low.
The psychological impacts that have been present for a long time entailing teenage pregnancy are the rising cases of suicide in teenagers as a result of unwanted pregnancies. Teenage mothers who are pregnant are seven times more likely to attempt and successfully commit suicide than other teenagers; this is due to frustrations, embarrassment and responsibilities that are accompanied by childbearing. Most are the teenagers that are not ready for children at that age and for that reason they opt to take away their lives (Weinstein, 1995).
To the child- Teenage pregnancy which is early motherhood has an adverse effect in the psychosocial development in infant before birth and after birth. Cases of children born with developmental disabilities and behavioral problems are normally present in cases of children born by young mothers. According to psychological studies on child developments, teenage mothers are less likely to excite and motivate their infants via behaviors that are more affectionate such as smiling to the child, touching and verbal communication. They are also likely to insensitive in accepting the needs of the child (Weinstein, 1995).
To the community and family members- teenage pregnancy has large effect on other siblings of the family, they are exposed to activities such as babysitting instead of concentrating at the vital things such as education. The community is affected as it is dragged behind both economically and socially. Presence of high numbers of pregnant teenagers increases the numbers of other teenagers to get pregnant as they use the latter as comparisons (Weinstein, 1995).
Theoretical aspects of teenage pregnancy
Roger's Diffusions of Innovations Theory
This is an approach that attempts explaining the reason or the teenage behaviors that results to behaviors such the teenage pregnancy. The Rogers diffusion theory is a definition and explanation of the process where "an innovation is communicated through certain channels to members of a social system" (Weinstein, 1995, p. 84).
This theory is commonly employed in the nursing and public health field sectors in t schools health. This theory has major elements that entail and comprise of the elements in the theory of innovation or idea, communication paths, social, systems and time. In this context, innovation could be an object, a practice or an idea that is perceived to be new to an element of adoption by an individual. The Rogers diffusion theory recognizes that a new idea largely contributes to the likeliness of uncertainty in the making of decision that requires availing of knowledge and the persuading of the participant to reduce resistance. This involves informing the individual about the merits and demerits of a solution. In this case of teenage pregnancy, it means that the use of contraceptive and life skills on the sex matter is likely to increase he activities of sex rather than reduce it among teenagers. Some of the parents might not be comfortable informing their teenagers about issues such as protective sex or contraceptive for the fear that it will increase their sexual activities.
The roger diffusion theory stalks from the concept that entails that in a social system setting where there is no introduction of new ideas about the issue of controlling and avoiding teenage pregnancy, some teenagers are likely to be more open than others regarding this issue than others.
The targeted community is the identity community; teenage pregnancy is an activity tat entails individuals who are a group of teenagers and in particular female teenagers. Therefore these teenagers are said to be in a within a common identity as they are likely to reason and act in almost the same or close behaviors during the stages of pre and post birth. They are also likely to interact more and are open to each other than other members of the community and for that reason they are said to be in the identity community. However, it is very vital to note that despite the teenagers being in an identity community due to their common distinctiveness, they live in a local community that comprises of different individuals with differing identities but live within the same locality (Weinstein, 1995, p. 84).
Major Programs associated with Teen Pregnancy.
-HIV/Aids and STDs - this is a major issue that is associated with the issue of teenage pregnancy. Due to ignorance ore lack of knowledge on the issue concerning sexual behaviors, teenagers engage in unprotected sexual behaviors which as a result lead to infections of HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases (Kirby, 2001).
-Poverty- as a result of early motherhood, teen mothers do not finish their high school and college education as they have to take the responsibility of bringing up the children. Due to this, they belong to the low socio status and are unable to secure good jobs with good salaries. Lack of jobs or underpaid jobs lead to poverty as a result of the low incomes(Kirby, 2001).
Early marriages- due to the complication and hard responsibilities of bringing up the child as a single mother, the teen mothers in many cases opt to get married to the father of he child or to another willing man. This early marriage n\may also be due to fear and embarrassment of the teen mother form the parent that leads to the young mother running away.
Minor programs associated with teen pregnancy
Suicide- this is the act of an individual taking his or her own life, due to the fear and embarrassment that is present when a tanager realizes that she is pregnant, frustration comes in and as a result of depression and stress they decide to attempt or successfully commit suicide (Kirby, 2001).
Poor developed babies- many of the teenage mothers are not ready to welcome he new born baby with a warm heart, instead they still picture themselves as girls and not mothers, this results to them giving less concentration to the baby and even not feeding the baby enough since they tend to skip meals in attempt to loose weight gained during and after pregnancy (Kirby, 2001).
Development of the teenage pregnancy program
The development of the teenage pregnancy issue in today's community will require an implementation plan that will involve a comprehensive based education on sex in several continuous phases. The phases are a form of an organizational, implementation team and evaluation of the issue. The first phase will entail the organizational authorization that will involve the organizational data that is in support for the need to address the issue of teen pregnancy in education institutions. The second phase will involve the implementation team tat will involve individuals such as nurses, peer educators and program directors delivering vital education n on sex and other related issues on locations such as education institutions, churches and possibly home to home process(Weinstein, 1987).
In the implementation resources several resources are necessary in order to effectively develop the program, the human resources include, parents, community members, doctors, religious leaders and school teachers. Other resources include time among other resources. Effective sex based education has a positive connection with reduced teen pregnancies. Analysis done by researchers on studies on impact of sex education shows the characteristics of the study noting in particular the teenager involvement, sample characteristics, and the effects of the program on facilitating issues and sexual risk factors behaviors as major issues contributing to a programs success.
The accomplishment of using comprehensive curriculum based sexual education to transform and guide individuals behavior is supported by various theories that clarify the aspects of various psychosocial facilitating factors such as attitudes towards the behavior of sex, as well other factors. Among these theories are largely the social learning theory and cognitive theory, also linked theories such as the theories of reasoned action, theory of planned behavior and the health belief classical .These theories act as provision of a scientific evidence and provide a basis for using a broad curriculum based sexual education as a means of controlling the behavior of teens thus contributing to lower levels of teenage pregnancy.
The implementation of the comprehensive curriculum based on sex education at all the location that teenagers are likely to be found is possible due to several reasons. First, the expense of implementation of the research operation project is minimal compared to the expected benefits. A research on the cost of teenage pregnancy development program conducted by shows the feasibility of the development project on teenage pregnancy. Rosenthal et al (2009) research came to a conclusion that teenage prevention pregnancies provide the society with economic benefits when started at an early age.
Rosenthal et al (2009) in the process of estimating the cost-benefit of comprehensive sex education centered on teen pregnancy prevention programs found that for a program with an approximation cost of $3,228,152.59 and with a teenage pregnancy decrease from a rate of 94.1 to 40.00 per 1000 teenage girls attained an economic benefit of $2,673,153.11 to society subsequent to total costs exceeding the community benefits by $1599.09 per adolescent in each annum. Nonetheless, when extrapolated up to a period of 30 years, the benefits to society per adolescent per year topped $10,474.77 by age 30 years. The minor costs associated with the project in comparison to the expected benefits of decreasing the teenage pregnancy rate from a rate of 4 teen pregnancies for every 100 girls to 3 teen pregnancies for every 100 girls increase the possibility of the development project.
The main objective of this project is the reduction of the rate of teenage pregnancy by a significant rate. Introduction to the implementation of sexual education that largely advocates for abstinence among the teens is supposed to show an outcome of reduced sexual activities via the reduced number of reported teenage pregnancies over a given time in comparison with the past rate of teen pregnancies before the implementation of the sex curriculum. The primary measurable outcome for the project is the teen pregnancy rate.
The measuring instrument for collecting primary outcome measure is the healthcare units and self report cases on pregnancy collected at beginning of the research and after the solution of the issue. As per the objective f the project, a decrease of the rate of pregnancy from 10 -15% is expected within a period of one year. Another outcome that is expected is teenagers of both the feminine and muscular gender to understand the importance of abstaining, use of protection methods to avoid unwanted pregnancies and other sexually transmitted diseases and the use of contraceptive to terminate pregnancy in cases where an individual has doubt whether she has conceived or not.
Outcome measure reliability entails the consistency of a measure. The reliability happens in cases whereby the expected outcome measure is in a stable, dependable and appropriate status and where the collected result has consistency. His is vital in the fact that it shows that the issue has been successfully solved. However, this does not simplify that control of the issue should cease, it should continue via the use of the same concepts of control. This is a major expected outcome.
The rate of teen pregnancies in the United States and other societies in the developed and non- developed countries has been a major challenge and has consistently remained high compared despite recent extensive efforts. A good sample of the seriousness of the matter is within the Virginia state of the united states, teen pregnancy has lately increased since 2008, to a rate of 49.4 reported pregnancies in1000 females within the ages of 15-19 compared to a rate of 34.5 in 1000 females within the same age bracket in 2005, (Virginia Department of Health, 2009). These trends have obligated the need to develop an appropriate solution that would lessen the issue of teen pregnancies in almost all communities worldwide by leading to a decline in the issue.
According to various studies, provision of appropriate educational programs to high risk teens can effectively reduce the rate of teen pregnancy. This paper first identifies and expounds on the problem of teen pregnancy, the importance of the problem. This paper will further describe the implementation plan for the project. The implementation resources, monitoring techniques and implementation feasibility are also outlined. The paper will provide a development project plan focused identification of the issue, the causes, the need to control the program, the major and minor programs that are associated with the problem of teenage pregnancy in the community, the relevant concerns of the program from a historical perspective, the expected outcomes on the project.