Investigating adolescents' experiences of using Mxit as a source of peer–support during grade 12
The aim of this study is to explore and describe late adolescents' experiences of using Mxit as a source of peer–support during their Grade 12 year in order to provide a broader and more realistic understanding of their support preferences and needs. The classic text of Gestalt Therapy theory in conjunction with current literature provided an overview of the theoretical underpinnings of this study, including the key tenets of Gestalt theory, the core Gestalt theoretical assumptions, Mxit as a social networking application, peer–support and late adolescence. A qualitative research approach with an instrumental case study of eight Grade 12 learners from one public high school in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg was implemented. The research findings indicated that the affordability, accessibility and non–threatening nature of using Mxit as a source of peer–support made it a viable resource during stressful periods. Although face–to–face peer–support was preferred owing to the limited existential dialogue and lack of trust that was experienced while communicating over Mxit, the adolescents perceived a need for the development of peer–support groups and one–on–one counselling over Mxit as a result of the lack of supportive others experienced during Grade 12 that frequently led to depressive symptoms and/or suicidal thoughts.
- ETD@PUK