Adolescent motherhood in Tanzania: a case study of Sumbawanga municipality

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
Adolescent motherhood has become a critical problem which has raised concern among the academicians, demographers and the local community as a whole. The problems associated with adolescent motherhood have long term consequences to the adolescent mother, the child, the family and the community. The study investigated the root causes of adolescent motherhood within the families. Specifically the study examined the complications of adolescent pregnancies, social problems, the burden of caring adolescent mothers and the stigma of marrying adolescent mothers. The majority of the adolescent mothers are having low education. On top of that, they come from families with illiterate or semi illiterate parents who have low paying jobs and income. Thus, lower incomes reduce the capacities and opportunities for their children to access basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and education. Child bearing at young ages poses several complications especially during pregnancies because the stresses of pregnancy are severe and may lead into ill-health to mother and the child. Such problems include excessive pains, excessive bleeding, fever and regular stomach aches. Socially, adolescent mothers are marginalized in terms of educational opportunities where those who dropout from schools are not readmitted into their former schools so the majority lack necessary skills for their life. Thus, their capacities of becoming self dependent economically and psychologically are reduced. The study further noticed different perceptions of the families on adolescent motherhood where some perceived as against traditions and customs and others treated as immoral and shameful to their families. The study further revealed that adolescent mothers are cared by husbands, parents and relatives. It was also noted that a proportion of adolescent mothers are married and others are single; and there are cases of divorce and widowed among them. Finally, it has been recommended that the problems of adolescent motherhood in Tanzania will be reduced through adoption of some measures. These measures include raising the age at marriage through long period of schooling, extension of contraceptive services to adolescents, improvement of income and openness of parents to their children, to mention but few.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HQ759.4.T34L86)
Teenage mothers, Adolescence, Sumbawanga municipality, Tanzania
Lunyelele, S. (2006) Adolescent motherhood in Tanzania: a case study of Sumbawanga municipality. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.