When white Afrikaans-speaking adolescents from divorced families function resiliently : an overview of the protective antecedents
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Divorce is an ever-present phenomenon in society. This is also true for white Afrikaans-speaking adolescents. Some of these adolescents seem to cope resiliently with the risk inherent in divorce while others struggle to cope. I wanted to determine what protective factors and processes are present in the lives of white Afrikaans-speaking adolescents who do function resiliently. The aims of the study were to explain what adolescent resilience means, document the impact of divorce on adolescents, conduct an empirical study to determine what protective factors and processes contribute to resilience, and to develop resilience promoting guidelines in the form of a concept program for Life Orientation educators and other service providers who might encourage resilience among white Afrikaans-speaking adolescents from divorced families. The study followed the prescriptions of the International Youth Resilience Study (IYRS), which includes a triangulated mixed method design. An advisory panel drawn from the communities of the participants helped to develop site specific questions and to identify resilient and non-resilient white Afrikaans-speaking adolescents from divorced families from different schools in three provinces. In total, 64 participants completed the Child and Youth Resilience measure (CYRM) and ten resilient adolescents were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. The resulting findings suggested that protective factors and processes inherent to the individual, relationships, the community and culture helped the resilient adolescents to cope adaptively with their parents' divorce. In line with more recent thinking, the findings confirmed that protective resources that encourage resilience are group-specific. Using the protective factors and processes identified by the participants, I compiled a concept programme to encourage adolescents from white Afrikaans-speaking divorced families to function more resiliently. The concept programme includes a ten-session, group intervention programme for adolescents and complementary workshops for their parents, educators, friends and community leaders. The concept programme was not implemented and so a future intervention study is recommended to test the concept programme. Future studies could also look at the relevance of the programme for adolescents from divorced families in other cultures.
- Education