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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 175-179

A comparative study of marital status on the academic performance of the female medical undergraduate in a Nigerian university

Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
V E Egwuatu
Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of marriage, pregnancy and child bearing on the academic performance of the Nigerian female medical student. METHOD: Self administered cross sectional questionnaires were distributed to female and male medical students of Ebonyi State University, Nigeria. Academic records were examined, and data obtained analysed using the Epi info statistical software package. RESULTS: Sixteen (19.3%) of the female students were married, thirteen after admission into the Faculty. Fourteen of these had children and mean parity was 2. The married female students were older, had more resit examinations than their male and single female counterparts. The difference was statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Marriage and child bearing which play a central and prominent role in the traditional African culture, may serve as an additional burden on the Nigerian female medical student, affecting her academic performance. The specific problems associated with marriage, pregnancy and childbirth need to be recognised, addressed and reflected in a modern medical curriculum.

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