Challenges of teenage fathers towards fatherhood in Vaalbank, Mpumalanga Province

13 Nov 2019

Teenage fatherhood is a social and health challenge and the voice of the young fathers has mainly been neglected by existing research in the South Africa academic and scholarly landscape. Much of the studies have usually focused on teenage mothers, as a result, teenage fatherhood is left unexplored. This is because it is mostly believed that teenage girls are impregnated by older men. This study was aimed at exploring the challenges of teenage fathers towards fatherhood in Vaalbank, Mpumalanga Province. The qualitative approach was the most relevant approach utilised. The study used explorative design. A sample of seven adolescent fathers using purposive sampling technique participated in the study. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews. Thematic Content Analysis was used to analyse data. Teenage fathers are psychologically, socioeconomically and emotionally affected with the idea of fatherhood. Moreover, they are overwhelmed by parental responsibilities. The study showed that a substantial majority of participants had feelings of stress when they discovered that they were teenage fathers. While, an overwhelming majority of teenage fathers reported that they were unprepared for their new role as fathers. In a nutshell, teenage fathers are psychologically, socio-economically and emotionally affected by teenage fatherhood. The study concludes that teenage fathers’ experiences are negative as far as fatherhood is concerned. They are overwhelmed by responsibilities that come with becoming a father. The study recommends that Social Workers, Psychologists and other related professionals should develop primary prevention and early intervention programmes that are focused on addressing teenage fatherhood.