Single Parenthood and Mental Well-Being of in-School Female Adolescents in Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Favour L.C. NTOIMO, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria, Nigeria
Eniola EGBEYEMI, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria
Most of the health problems adolescents suffer from are associated with poverty and inequality inherent in their family type. For instance, single-parent family may affect an adolescent’s mental health adversely because a single mother/father might not be entirely capable of catering for the needs of the adolescent with regard to proper nutrition, educational needs and social integration. Using a scale for measuring self-reported mental wellbeing, adapted from previous studies, we investigated the association between single parenthood and the mental wellbeing of in-school female adolescents aged 10-19 years in Ado-Ekiti, Southwest Nigeria. The respondents were randomly selected from four secondary schools. Using a formula for deriving a small sample when population is known, a sample size of 383 was derived from a population of 1656 female students. With 10% added to adjust for non-response, a total of 421 students were involved in the study. Categorizing the mental well being scores into a tertile, 11.3% reported poor mental well being, 51.7% moderately good and 37.0% good. Younger adolescents ages 10-14 were more likely to report poor mental well being than their older counterparts aged 15-19 years old. Two multiple regression models predicting the association between single parenthood and the adolescents’ mental wellbeing were fitted. In the unadjusted model, mental wellbeing significantly decreased for adolescents in single-parent households compared to their counterparts in two-parent households (β= -8.06 p<0.001). The inverse association remained significant in the second model that adjusted for self-reported physical health, personal and other family characteristics (β= -6.88 p<0.001). The result indicates that the family is a key determinant of adolescent mental wellbeing in Nigeria. To enhance the country’s prospects of attaining the SDG target on mental health and other development goals, the mental wellbeing of female adolescents, particularly those in single-parent households would need priority attention and intervention.