Psigologiese sterktes binne 'n Afrika-konteks / Alitha Pithey
This study explored psychological strengths within an African context. Individuals in the North West province of South Africa are confronted with various stressors such as HIV, crime and unemployment, and yet they are found to be functioning successfully in spite of these stressors. The aim of the study was to identify the strengths that help individuals cope in the face of the stressors confronting them. Particular strengths coinciding with Western strengths were investigated, as well as those that appear to be specific to the Setswana culture. The study comprised two phases. Phase 1 involved two focus groups in an attempt to identify broad categories of strengths. Phase 2 involved individual interviews aimed at an in-depth investigation of the said strengths. Participants were mother-tongue speakers of the Setswana language, aged between 20 and 29 years, and exposed to poor socia-economic conditions. Whereas spirituality and a religious orientation amongst participants could be likened to features of Western culture, its manifestation in an African context may differ. In a similar way, the participants' hope and awareness of the future are regarded as strengths within Western culture. Also the sense of humour that prevailed is seen as a strength by Western communities. Wisdom, however, in spite of its positive status in Western terms, has a different meaning in an African context. Strengths that seem to be specific to the Setswana group include social support and a community spirit, which can be regarded as their prime strength. Human skills directed at the well-being of the group also belong to these unique strengths, and so do traditional practices creating a feeling of belonging and participation. While these strengths appear to be unique in Setswana culture, it is not implied that they are totally lacking in Western society, but that they do not enjoy the same priority. Further research is recommended to determine the generalisation of the results.
- ETD@PUK