Qualitative Exploration of the Experiences and Challenges of Adolescents during Pregnancy

Portia Mashala, Rita Esterhuizen, Wilna Basson*, Kathryn Nel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores and describes the experiences and challenges of pregnant adolescents (N = 9, mean age = 16.33 years, SD = 1.58 years) by focusing on their thoughts and feelings about their pregnancies and future prospects. The expectant mothers were in their in their second and third trimester of pregnancy. All participants were poor working-class Black South Africans from different ethnic groups. Two were Tsonga, three Zulu and four Tswana speakers. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and analysed using thematic content analysis. Findings suggest that family relationships after disclosure of the pregnancy were strained, particularly the father-daughter relationship. The teens expressed unpreparedness for the challenges of motherhood, uncertainty about the future and feelings of anger, regret and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychology in Africa
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Adolescent pregnancy
  • Challenges
  • Experiences


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