The development of a programme for the facilitation of coping skills for rural adolescents who have been exposed to community violence
Many children and adolescents in South Africa are being exposed as witnesses or are direct victims of violence in today's society. The purpose of this study is to explore what violent exposure adolescents have experienced and to develop a programme that includes coping skills, expression of emotion and communication. The research formed part of the FLAGH study. The research was done in the form of action research where the adolescents took part in the whole process of developing the programme. The study was done in four phases. In the first phase a random sample of 36 adolescents from Fikadibeng School in the North West Province were selected. They completed the Coping Responses Inventory-Youth Form, the Survey of exposure to community violence, Things I have seen and heard questionnaire and the Self-expression and control scales. In the second phase the programme was developed using the results of the pre-testing and a literature study on the effects of the exposure of violence on children. During the third phase the developed programme was pilot tested on a randomly selected group of the children and the post-testing took place in order to evaluate and adjust the programme according to the results found. Suggestion for the adjustment of the programme was done during the fourth phase of the study. Adolescents were largely exposed to community violence. They also displayed tendencies to internalize anger and used looking for guidance and cognitive avoidance as part of their coping repertoire. The programme proved to benefit the children in their coping with violence. It is recommended that for the future, larger groups of adolescents should be evaluated and programmes should be presented to a larger community in order to assist adolescent in their use of coping skills.
- Humanities