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PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS INFLUENCING THE PRACTICE OF FAMILY PLANNING IN AKWA IBOM STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Family planning is the practice of birth control and use of contraceptives and other measures to determine the number of children to have and the spacing of child birth.Injectables, male and female condemns, implants, etc are modern methods of contraception. The traditional method of family planning include; periodic abstinence withdrawal, folk method etc.
Psychosocial factors like perception, anxiety, fear, education (learning) knowledge, diffusion, etc tends to drive most couples towards embracing the idea and the widespread practice of family planning or birth control through several measures listed above.
As a result of diffusion of culture from other societies, the practices of family planning havebecomewidespread. Couples tend to be worried about how to raise and take care of the physical wellbeing of their children.
These fear and anxious though has lead to the acceptance and use of child control measures in Akwa Ibom state.
Due to overpopulation and the economic situation in the state, parents and couples now see it fit to decide the number of children they will be able to bring up given the economic situation. The poor socio-economic situation tends to make couples experience financial distress, deep emotional distress and feeling of great worry and unhappiness. In a bid to manage the little scarce resource, they resortto family planning.
Most researches in relation to family planning practice Have uncovered the fact that the perception of couples have influenced family planning. Thus, if couples are exposed to the social world and have a measure of education they may likely accept the practice of birth control through the use of contraceptive.
Thus, it is this understanding that triggers this study to find out and to examine the psychosocial factor influencing family planning particularly in Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Over the years, family planning has been a bone of contention in Akwa Ibom State. This practice (family planning) has been argued for and against. Infact, there is no unified view in regards to the practice in question.
Irrespective of the seemingly positive benefits of family planning, most couples in Akwa Ibom state turn the practice down. These ones go to greater length of having up to eight children and above. In fact, they see family planning and the use of contraceptives as an attempt against nature, values and an act devoid of virtue, even unholy.
On the contrary, there have no doubt been increases in the use of contraceptives such as condom, sterilization, abstinence, etc in the state in question. Abortion; an act of deliberately ending a pregnancy at an early stage is gaining some level of acceptance in Akwa Ibom State. Unlike the perception of some couples cited above, other couples in the state take full advantage of family planning and have a positive perception of it. In fact, these ones have clear and targeted number of children and have taken measures to actualize their desired family structure and size.
Due to these disparities, the focus of the study therefore is on the psychosocial factors influencing family planning in Akwa Ibom State. The research seeks empirical base evidence on the relationship between psychosocial factors and family planning as there exist dearth of data to that effect.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i) Is family planning a common practice in Akwa Ibom State?
ii) Does psychosocial factors influence family planning
Ho: There is no significant relationship between psychosocial factors and family planning.
1.5 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This work is primarily aims;
i) To examine the widespread of family planning in Akwa Ibom State.
ii) To examine the psychosocial factors influencing family planning in Akwa Ibom State.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to residents in Akwa Ibom State and specifically, selected house in Ikpa Road, Uyo.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This work is significant because it will uncover those psychosocial factors that influence family planning and the measures that can help to encourage the practice among couples.
The work is also significant as it will increase the existing stock of knowledge and will be useful for researches wishing to carry out further research on the subject in question.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION
Psychosocial Factor: It refers to the interaction between social and psychological factors. Put simply, refers to the interplay between man’s perception, social influence and his social environment which affects his decisions and actions.
Family Planning: It is the practice of determining the number of children one wants to have. It also refers to the act of controlling birth and their intervals through the use of contraceptives.