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Analyzing Behavioral Risk Factors

Health Prevention and Disease

Predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors for Teenage Pregnancy and examples of these factors

           The issue of teen pregnancies is on the rise and there are key factors which can be considered to be playing an important role in its increase. There are a number of factors (predisposing factors) which increase the risk of teen pregnancies. Some of the common predisposing factors to teen pregnancy can include the lack of knowledge with regard to safe sexual activities and the use of contraceptives; barriers which appears to be denying teenagers to have access to the contraceptives for example the negative attitudes of health staff; being under pressure; sexual coercion; and low or reduced self-esteem. Other predisposing factors can also include low educational expectations; being born from poor families or low-income families; breakup in the family whereby mother and father are not living together to offer guidance, counseling, and teaching to the girls; and the increased sex-based messages in the media platform.

           Knowledge and attitudes are important aspects of the risk of teen pregnancies. Teenagers acquire knowledge from older people or peers in relation to sex topics. Parents can be heavily relied on in addressing issues related to the reduction of the present gaps in the pre-adolescent and adolescent sexual health education. A parent can communicate their expectations to the teenagers before they are involved in sexual activities. Through the creation of the developmentally appropriate chats with teenagers on sex topic, teenagers can be helped. Communication between parents and their children on issues related to sex is not fully implemented. This is leading to a lack of knowledge with regard to the risk related to having unprotected sex and the possibility of being pregnant (Klein & Kaplan, 2012).

           The process of giving teenagers a positive attitude on the use of condoms or contraceptives leads to an increased level of condom use. This is because teenagers do develop attitudes positive attitudes towards the use of condom and contraceptives to help in the reduction of teenage pregnancies.     

           Reinforcing factors are factors which reward or reinforce the desired behavioral change such as economic rewards, social support, and change in the norms. Teenagers need to be informed of the consequences of their actions with regard to unsafe sexual behaviors. Reinforcing teenagers to change their behavior is important in reducing the cases of teenage pregnancies and this can be done through informing them on some of the unpleasant behaviors i.e. having unprotected sex and not using contraceptives to help in reducing the cases of teenage pregnancies in the future. Reinforcement of values, attitudes, and the belief regarding sexual behaviors and pregnancies through differential association and imitation is positive and this increases the possibility of a similar behavior through satisfying outcomes and rewards. Some common forms of reinforcing factors include social support and peer support which serves to strengthen the motivation for behavior.

           The process of building a positive relationship to support and reinforce positive health behaviors in youths is important. The presence of positive social norms and the support from the parents and communities regarding safe sex practices such as the use of condoms and contraceptives is important in increasing the adoption of safe sex practices among teenagers (Svanemyr, Robles, Amin, & Greene, 2015).  

           Enabling factors refers to the skills or the physical factors i.e. availability as well as access to the resources or services which are facilitating achievement of motivation to change behavior. Providing teenagers with access to contraceptives helps in reducing teenage pregnancies. It is also important to provide teenagers with access to condoms to increase the chances of having protected sexual intercourse, an important aspect in reducing teenage pregnancy. Teenagers also must be supported by society on the issues related to the practice of protected sex and contraceptives instead of sticking to the cultural practices which prohibits them from such practices.

           Societal support and skills required towards the promotion of change in the behaviors and adoption of the safe sex practices and use of contraceptives is important. Lack of support from the community and parents leads to the exposure of teenagers to unsafe sex practices. It is also important to educate teenagers on the issues related to unsafe practices which increase their chances of unwanted pregnancies.   

The advantages and disadvantages of two different settings that can be used to address teenage pregnancy

           The issue of teenage pregnancies can be discussed at schools or colleges and at homes where teenagers are staying or being closer to their parents. Both settings seem to be suitable and appropriate places where teenagers can be informed and educated on the issues related to pregnancies. With regard to school settings, sexual education can be made to be part of the curriculum to inform children earlier enough about sex. Educating children on issues related to sex while still at school and at tender age helps in keeping them informed on issues related to safe and unsafe sex.

           Educating children at an early age helps in reducing their exposure to sexually transmitted infections and pregnancies at an early age. Children learn on the best methods which can be used to ensure that there are safe practices while engaging in sexual intercourse. It helps in building a positive attitude as well as perception with regard to the use of condoms as one of the mechanisms of ensuring that there is safe sex practice.

           At home, parents are playing a unique role of being closer to their children and teenagers all the time thus offering them the opportunity of discussing issues related to safe sex practices. Children tend to listen to their parents more often than any other person and if the issue of sexual activity is made to be part of the discussion in family issue, then children and teenagers are protected from getting early and unwanted pregnancies.

           Both settings have disadvantages which sometimes makes the issue of discussing sex topic to be a concern. In school settings, children are becoming more exposed to the topic earlier enough and this makes them have the knowledge on sex-related topics which can also expose them to such practices at an early age. Educating children on the use of contraceptives means that they are free to use it and excess of its use can lead to health problems at a tender age. Educating children on sex topics can sometimes give a bad picture to them since some of them might think that it is normal behavior which is accepted by both parents and teachers. Some might not listen to the recommended and appropriate age to engage in sexual activities. 

           At home, parents are sometimes busy committed with their daily economic activities and coming home late. This, therefore, implies that they might have little to no time to discuss or talk with their children on issues related to sex topics ad safe behaviors while having sex. Some parents are not prepared and not willing to discuss the topic with their children due to the belief that it is a matter which should not be shared with children. Therefore, children from such families are left without knowledge of safe sex practices and the use of contraceptives as a method of reducing teenage pregnancies. At home, culture might also dictate on whether parents will have such a discussion or not. Discussion on sex topics with regard to safe sex practices and use of contraceptives can also be affected by the lack of knowledge or low level of education to understand the issue of safe sex practices (Tuyiragize, Nzabona, Kabuba, & Asiimwe, 2018).

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