An exploration on how teen mothers cope with mothering and schooling

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Mary Oluga

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Joachim Tamba


AKU-East Africa


Adolescent pregnancy and motherhood have been given considerable attention in the Kenyan education system. Much attention , research and funding is dedicated to teen pregnancy prevention and abstinence –only education, yet many teens still become pregnant each year. Nevertheless, the Kenyan re-entry policy of 1994 allows these learners to continue with their education amidst other factors determining the completion of their studies. The purpose of this study was to find out how teen mothers cope with the demands of going to school and at the same time being mothers of their own children. Specifically, this study took an in depth look at the educational experiences of two teen mothers who were mothering and at the same time schooling in one rural day mixed secondary school in Nandi District in Kenya. This qualitative study included narration inquiry from the teen matters, writing letters and reflective journals .Interviews were used on the school head (principal), teens‘ mother and the clergy to give teens a voice and to create rich, thick descriptions for educators to understand what enables teen mothers to be successful in high school. Purposive sampling was used to identify the participants. Data was analyzed by following the process of transcription/translation, coding, categorization and establishment of themes. Trustworthiness was highly regarded since it is a sensitive issue. The main theme that emerged from the study was boy-girl relationship which resulted to factors leading to teen pregnancy. From teen pregnancy then came the consequences and challenges of school teenage pregnancies and motherhood. From then came the support mechanisms provided to the teen mothers and ways of coping with the challenges. The findings concluded that parents‘ attitude and economic status of the families of the teen mothers had an impact in their schooling and as such teenagers be sensitized more on how to handle relationships. Further research was suggested on challenges experienced by teen fathers too.

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