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Title: Risk awareness of delayed childbearing among young people in tertiary education
Authors: Cuschieri, Isabelle
Keywords: Young adults -- Malta
Maternal age -- Malta
Pregnancy -- Malta
Infertility -- Malta
Parenthood -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Cuschieri, I. (2019). Risk awareness of delayed childbearing among young people in tertiary education (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: Background: Delaying childbearing has globally and gradually escalated over the years, where the younger generation are postponing marriage and delaying parenthood, though the reason behind this behaviour is complex. Lack of awareness of the related complications associated with increase in maternal age and the inability to overcome involuntary childlessness with reproductive technologies may be contributing factors. This is leading to lower fertility rates due to higher number of pregnancies to women over 35 years of age. Aim: The overall purpose of this study is to make an educational diagnosis of young Maltese people’s information and learning needs related to delayed parenthood and fertility issues, and ultimately devise recommendations for interventions to enhance informed reproductive health decision-making among young people. Secondly, to explore gender difference in young people’s learning needs related to fertility issues and delayed parenthood. Theoretical Framework: The Theory of Planned Behaviour by Ajzen (1991) has guided this study in exploring the level of knowledge and awareness related to fertility issues, of undergraduate and postgraduate students. Setting: The study was conducted in two Maltese post-secondary vocational and tertiary education institutions Methods: A two-phase mixed method approach was adopted for this study. The Swedish Fertility Awareness questionnaire by Lampic et al., (2006), was used for the quantitative phase. This was followed by two separate focus groups with undergraduate and postgraduate students to further explore the quantitative data in depth. Quantitative findings were analysed by the IBM SPSS statistical software and presented into tables and figures, while qualitative findings were analysed through thematic content analysis. Participants: Vocational, undergraduate and postgraduate students aged 18-30 years attending the latter post-secondary and tertiary level education institutions participated in this study. 286 participants from both institutions completed the survey questionnaire, while an additional 19 students participated in the focus groups. Results: Quantitative findings showed no significant difference between males and females perceived knowledge on fertility issues, where participants believed to be somewhat educated to educated. However, half of the participants planned to have their first child at 27 to 30 years of age where fertility starts to slightly decline, though, none of the participants planned to have their last child over the age of 40. Furthermore, qualitative findings showed that participants planned to have their first child between the age of 30 to 35 years. Conclusion: Increasing awareness regarding fertility issues in the young generation is important in order to decrease involuntary childlessness attributed to delaying childbearing. Hence, fertility education should be incorporated at school and continued at post-compulsory education to make students who pursue education aware of fertility issues and complications arising with delaying parenthood. Future longitudinal research should assess change of attitudes over time and the importance of providing continuous fertility education.
Description: M.SC.NURSING
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacHSc - 2019
Dissertations - FacHScNur - 2019

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