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Coping strategies for social well-being and social development intervention: young women and unintended pregnancy in Mozambique

Taplin, Aisha Jane (2009) Coping strategies for social well-being and social development intervention: young women and unintended pregnancy in Mozambique University of Southampton, School of Social Sciences, Doctoral Thesis .

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


Using the concept of coping strategies, this thesis is essentially concerned with the way
young women in Mozambique achieve social well-being during the life event of unintended
pregnancy. Unintended pregnancy in Mozambique places significant strain on informal and
formal relationships, educational access, economic stability and the maintenance of good
health. It also has significant implications for young women’s roles, responsibilities and status
within families and communities (CEDAW 2005). Twenty one qualitative semi-structured
individual interviews were completed with young women (16-19 years old) who have recently
had an unintended pregnancy, as well as eight focus groups using a vignette with young
women (16–21 years old) from youth associations and fourteen individual interviews with key
informants (those working in the area of sexual and reproductive health with youth and
adolescents). From these three forms of rich data, the relationships young women have with
others, the negotiations they engage in and the coping strategies they employ are illuminated.

This research contributes to an increased understanding of unintended pregnancy and the
ways young women respond and ‘cope’ with this life event (as a process) largely via different
forms of social interaction. The chosen methodology was designed to elicit this type of
knowledge drawing on different disciplinary interpretations of coping strategies. Although
unintended or early pregnancy in young women has developed as a key social development
concern in recent years (Hainsworth 2002; Mahy 2002; Westoff 2003; UNFPA 2007), this
research indicates that policy strategists in Mozambique struggle to develop adequate and
effective intervention in response. The narratives shared by young women, and the analysis
developed through chapters four to seven builds a complex picture for intervention, as family
relationships remain a major factor for social and economic well-being. The socially and
culturally constructed nature and predominant location within families mean that macro
strategies and community level intervention has limited impact during unintended pregnancy.
Strengthening relational strategies (both formal and informal) through social development
intervention is therefore necessary for young women to access social and organisational
resources for coping and social well-being. By using the concept of coping strategies, the
juxtaposition of ‘copers’ and ‘non-copers’, the relationship between agency and structure, the
strategies employed at different levels, the significance of social interaction and coping as a
process has been opened up to scrutiny. This thesis not only evaluates and critiques models
of social development, but also argues that the concept of coping strategies can be usefully
applied to inform social development in ways that address both individual and collective wellbeing.

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Published date: March 2009
Organisations: University of Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 72364
PURE UUID: a46bfbdc-b36b-4716-8b13-2a0b6b81c8bd

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Date deposited: 11 Feb 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:54

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Author: Aisha Jane Taplin
Thesis advisor: Jacqueline Powell
Thesis advisor: Graham Crow

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