The Pregnancy in Adolescence




This report is about a volunteer work, a partnership between Family guidance Institute in Brazil, Sao Paulo, Ceaf , and a Pediatric clinic in a deprived children community in Sao Paulo.

A survey done at middle class and low middle class schools in Sao Paulo confirms that we are living in a time of transition of the images of father and mother in the family

The adolescents attribute the authority equally to father and mother.

The adolescents identify mother as protection, support and affective reference. Only a few see her as financial provider and those are among the group of less acquisitive power.

The mother figure is identified as family reference.

To give physical and emotional support and to educate seems to be a mother function among the classes with a lower socio-economic level. Some adolescents replied that …  “The child is brought up very well without a father”.

As we know the absence of a father figure is common in the case reports of juvenile delinquency. A lack of a model of reference also is missing in the case reports of problems in learning and school adaptation, in elementary education.

The case reports about the family of homeless children and adolescents show a complete absence of a father figure in the description of their roles and in their imagery. It seems that is in this question(What should be his function), that the families with lower socio-economic level show a higher emptiness.”

The mother is identified with the whole image of family, of protecting physically and emotionally and educating, so this points to a model of single parenting and motherliness of family. 

A more complex issue is that when we think about the perspective of working with this impoverished family. We are faced with a certain degree of institutional prepotency because these families are considered not workable with and the professional role would be the referral of these children and adolescents to educational and assistance institutions.

Our practice in our work with these homeless children, with victims of abuse and with pregnancy in adolescence show that the child doesn’t necessarily reproduces and not even in a direct way the forms of behaving of his family.

The adults trace some forms of behaving and possible representations but the child mold his way of behaving based on the interdependent relationships and reacts individually and creatively.

In according to Mara Sidoli,” we share a certain ontological collectivity but each individual has his on way to respond to his experience. ” 

This reality shows the necessity of actions in the direction of these children and adolescents imaginary as a way of reaching their social inclusion.


Reflections about pregnancy during adolescence


There have been, in all social classes a great increase of the index of pregnancy during adolescence.

Research of Dr Albertina Duarte, gynecologist  shows that 87 % of the cases had information about the use of contraceptives.

To have the information and to incorporate it as a way of life means a long run.

There are various hypotheses about the factors the cause pregnancy during adolescence:

1- outburst of sexuality

2- aderence to the group values related with liberty and sexuality.

3-  imediaticity of adolescent behavior.

4– adolescent’s feeling of omnipotence.

5- sexual initiation turned to be more precocious since sexual liberation of the 60’s.

6- the erotism vehiculated through media without orientation proposes a practice without responsibility.

7- antecipation of the girl’s maturation due to better conditions of life and nutrition in the last decades. Menarca and puberty occur earlier and one or two years latter girls reach full fertility.

The follow up of pregnant adolescents made possible a reflection about these families reality and about the environment in which these adolescents live. It shows a particular ecology, in which the family of the adolescent-mother has the role of formation of the new members.

There is an increase of the number of grandmothers that raise and take care of their grandchildren. The figure of the grandfather is almost inexpressive in the reports.

The children of the first pregnancy are given to the grandmother care when the adolescent has no stable partner or has a new relationship. This is also a way of keeping with the morality in the absence of a stable partner or of maintaining the presence of a presumed provider.

Almost there is no clarity about the role of the stable partner, besides the role of sexual partner and no affective reference.

She is precociously invited to discriminate her behavior in the mother role while she has a discourse of a daughter that almost all the time lacked the assistance of her necessities from the mother, father and substitutive figures.

The experience of being neglect and the maternal abandonment evokes and foster grandiose fantasies and infantile omnipotence as defenses of helplessness and dread. This kind of experiences also damages the development of symbolic thinking. We try to work through these damages and disturbs of attachment.

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