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Child-rearing practices among student-mothers at University of Cape Coast

Kobina Esia-Donkoh, University of Cape Coast

It has been argued that countries can achieve most Millennium Development Goals if female education becomes a priority. Although Ghana has reduced the gender gap in education over the last two decades, less emphasis has been placed on the challenges student-mothers face on campus. The study explored such challenges in relation to their academic work, and how they cope at University of Cape Coast. Accidental and snowball techniques were adopted to reach twenty-eight respondents for in-depth interviews. Guided by the bio-psychosocial model, it was realized that respondents rarely practiced exclusive breastfeeding due to academic activities. Some respondents skipped lectures, tutorials and examinations to take care of sick babies. Stigma and uncooperative attitude of some lectures increased their psychological stress. These challenges affected academic performances. Emotion-focused coping strategies were mostly used to deal with challenges. The counseling unit of the university must intensify education on problem-focused coping strategy.

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Presented in Session 57: Schooling, employment, and the transition into adulthood