Doris S. Natividad,
Phoebe Y. Dominguez,
Mary Joy S. Cubangbang,
Ime Fres L. Calag,
Cleofa B. Ben-at,
Anjel May B. Baccay
The study dealt with the experiences of BSU teenage student mothers. The phenomenological type of qualitative research design was used. The study was conducted at Benguet State University, La Trinidad, Benguet from August, 2008 to October, 2008. There were ten respondents whose ages range from 18-19 years old. A structured interview guide was used to gather the data. Through an in-depth interview, the respondents were asked about the changes experienced in physical, physiological, social, psychological and spiritual dimensions, including the coping skills they used and their suggestions and recommendations regarding their situation. The data gathered were categorized, analyzed, synthesized and interpreted.
Results showed that the respondents experienced many changes in the identified dimensions whereas in dealing with their situation, they utilized coping skills. Moreover, they also gave their own suggestions or recommendations regarding their situation. In the physical and physiological dimension, the respondents experienced different changes such as weight gain, weight loss, fatigue and decreased strength. Regarding their social dimension, most of the respondents are motivated by their parents to continue their studies. They also motivated themselves, by loved ones like their child/children, relatives and friends. Their parents were their number one supporters financially, emotionally, spiritually and helped them through babysitting. Furthermore, 40% confessed that they encountered discrimination through gossips. However, they also have limited time to bond with their peers but still, their peers remained supportive. Psychologically, motivation ranked number one in the positive feelings associated with their situation. Others include acceptance, confidence, fulfillment, happiness, more mature, more responsible, optimism, being proud and being tough. Conversely, the negative feelings were difficulty balancing concerns, distress, irritability, fear, frustration, regret, shame, uneasiness and unworthiness. Moreover, the respondents claimed that their spiritual lives became more enriched, however three of them confessed that their faith was challenged. The respondents also talked about how they coped up with their studies and motherhood. In relation to their studies, they applied time management, asked for social support, resorted to positive thinking, engaged in praying, set realistic goals and studied harder. As to their motherhood, they bond with their child during free time, involving them in home activities and ensuring their safety through support group.
In conclusion, being a teenage student mother is tantamount to being in a difficult situation which demands support, understanding and especially social acceptance.
Therefore, it is recommended that teenage mothers should continue their studies for the benefit of their child/children. To the teenage students, they are advised to prioritize their studies first, and resolve to refrain from early relationship like engagement and marriage that may interfere with their studies.
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