Disempowerment and Psychological Distress in the Lives of Young People in Eastern Cape, South Africa
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
A qualitative study was conducted in Butterworth, in the rural Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, to explore sources of distress for young people. Semi-structured, individual in-depth interviews were conducted with 16 men and 24 women aged 16–22 years. The findings revealed interconnections between structural factors such as death, poverty, unemployment and gender injustices to cause distress. Negative home dynamics such as disinheritance, financial hardships, undisclosed paternal identity, substance abuse, child abuse and unpredictable informal adoption circumstances were worries of the participants. Worries over their inability to complete school dominated the narratives of orphaned participants. Lack of communication and consultation within families on important matters contributed to distress. Distress related to sexual relationships, such as infidelity, an unacknowledged pregnancy, intimate partner violence, transactional sex and sexual orientation were evident only in women’s narratives. Strengthening of families, improving financial security, extension of social grants and no-fee school policies are needed to alleviate distress in young people in this area. These findings are a call for the monitoring of policy delivery imperatives for child protection.
- Arnett, J. J. (2007). Emerging adulthood: What is it, and what is it good for? Child Development Perspectives, 1(2), 68–73. CrossRef
- Babbie, E. (2008). The basics of social research (4th ed.). Belmont, USA: Thompson Wadsworth Publishers.
- Berry, L., & Guthrie, T. (2003). Rapid assessment: The situation of children in South Africa. South Africa, Cape Town: The Children’s Institute and Save the Children.
- Blore, L. G., Schulze, S., & Lessing, A. C. (2004). The relationship between adolescent depressive symptomatology and substance abuse. Curationis, 27(10), 12–22.
- Blum, R. W. (2007). Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Adolescent Health: Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 41(3), 230. CrossRef
- Cassiem, S. (2000). Are children prioritised in the justice sector? In S. Cassiem, H. Perry, M. Sadan, & J. Streak (Eds.), Child poverty and the Budget 2000-are poor children being put first? (pp. 95–122). Cape Town: Idasa Publishers.
- Chatterji, M., Murray, N., London, D., & Anglewicz, P. (2005). The factors influencing transactional sex among young men and women in 12 sub-Saharan African countries. Social Biology, 52(1–2), 56–72.
- Cluver, L., & Gardner, F. (2006). The psychological well-being of children orphaned by AIDS in Cape Town, South Africa. Annals of General Psychiatry, 5(1), 8. CrossRef
- Cluver, L., & Gardner, F. (2007). The mental health of children orphaned by AIDS: A review of international and southern African research. Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 19(1), 1–17. CrossRef
- Cluver, L., & Orkin, M. (2009). Cumulative risk and AIDS-orphanhood: Interactions of stigma, bullying and poverty on child mental health in South Africa. Social Science and Medicine, 69(8), 1186–1193. CrossRef
- de Villiers, N., & Giese, S. (2008). A review of children’s access to employment-based contributory social insurance benefits. Pretoria: Department of Social Development and United Nation’s Children’s Fund.
- Department of Health, Medical Research Council, & OrcMacro. (2007). South African demographic and health survey 2003 (SADHS) Retrieved from http://www.doh.gov.za/search/index.html.
- Dunkle, K. L., Jewkes, R., Nduna, M., Jama, N., Levin, J., Sikweyiya, Y., et al. (2004). Transactional sex with casual and main partners among young South African men in the rural Eastern Cape: Prevalence, predictors, and associations with gender-based violence. Social Science and Medicine, 65(6), 1235–1248.
- Eddy, G. (2009). Unhappy families. Fast Facts: South African Institute of Race Relations, 7, 2–12.
- Euler, H. A., Hoier, S., & Rohde, P. A. (2001). Relationship-specific closeness of intergenerational family ties: Findings from evolutionary psychology and implications for models of cultural transmission. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32(2), 147–158. CrossRef
- Freeman, M., & Nkomo, N. (2006). Guardianship of orphans and vulnerable children. A survey of current and prospective South African caregivers. AIDS Care, 18(4), 302–310. CrossRef
- Holborn, L., & Eddy, G. (2011). First steps to healing the South African family. Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations.
- Jewkes, R., Dunkle, K., Koss, M. P., Levin, J. B., Nduna, M., Jama, N., et al. (2006a). Rape perpetration by young, rural South African men: Prevalence, patterns and risk factors. Social Science and Medicine, 63(11), 2949–2961. CrossRef
- Jewkes, R., Dunkle, K. L., Nduna, M., Jama, N., & Puren, A. (2010). Associations between childhood adversity and depression, susbtance abuse & HIV & HSV2 incident infections in rural South African youth. Child Abuse & Neglect. Accepted for publication (In Press).
- Jewkes, R., & Morrell, R. (2011). Sexuality and the limits of agency among South African teenage women: Theorising femininities and their connections to HIV risk practises. Social Science & Medicine. In Press, Corrected Proof. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.05.020.
- Jewkes, R., Nduna, M., Levin, J., Jama, N., Dunkle, K., Khuzwayo, N., et al. (2006b). A cluster randomized-controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of Stepping Stones in preventing HIV infections and promoting safer sexual behaviour amongst youth in the rural Eastern Cape, South Africa: trial design, methods and baseline findings. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 11(1), 3–16. CrossRef
- Jonsson, J. O. (2010). Child well-being and intergenerational inequality. Child Indicators Research, 3, 1–10. CrossRef
- Kaggwa, E. B., & Hindin, M. J. (2010). The psychological effect of orphanhood in a matured HIV epidemic: An analysis of young people in Mukono, Uganda. Social Science and Medicine, 70(7), 1002–1010. CrossRef
- Kane-Berman, J. (2009). A risk not recognised. Fast Facts: South African Institute of Race Relations, 7(1), 1.
- Kinama, E. (2011). Classifying ‘corrective rape’ as a hate crime in South Africa. Retrieved 21 June 2011, from http://allafrica.com/stories/201105260375.html.
- Låftman, S. B. (2010). Family structure and children’s living conditions. A comparative study of 24 countries. Child Indicators Research, 3, 127–147. CrossRef
- May, J., & Norton, A. (1997). A difficult life: The perceptions and experience of poverty in South Africa. Social Indicators Research, 41(1/3), 95–118. CrossRef
- McLoyd, V. C. (1990). The impact of economic hardship on black families and children: psychological distress, parenting, and socioemotional development. Child Development Perspectives, 61(2), 311–346.
- Meel, B. L. (2004). Suicide among teenagers and young adults in the Transkei. Case reports. Anil Aggrawal’s Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, 5(2). http://www.anilaggrawal.com/ij/vol_005_no_002/papers/paper003.html.
- Mekoa, I. (2003). Traditional African social organization and governance. New Agenda: South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy, 24, 36–40.
- Nduna, M., & Jewkes, R. (Accepted). Silence: A strategy to deal with psychological distress among young people in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Vulnerable Child and Youth Studies.
- Nduna, M., & Jewkes, R. (2011). Undisclosed paternal identity in narratives of distress among young people in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 20(3), 303. CrossRef
- Nduna, M., Jewkes, R., Dunkle, K. L., Jama Shai, N., & Colman, I. (2010). Associations between depressive symptoms, sexual behaviour and relationship characteristics: A prospective cohort study of young women and men in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Journal of the International Association of AIDS, 13(44). http://www.jiasociety.org/content/13/1/44.
- Operario, D., Cluver, L., Rees, H., MacPhail, C., & Pettifor, A. (2008). Orphanhood and completion of compulsory school education among young people in South Africa: Findings from a national representative survey. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 18(1), 173–186. CrossRef
- Phakathi, M. (2009). Prevention is better than cure. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, 87, 328–329. CrossRef
- Pillay, A. L., & Wassenaar, D. R. (1997). Recent stressors and family satisfaction in suicidal adolescents in South Africa. Journal of Adolescence, 20(2), 155–162. CrossRef
- Plotnik, R. (1999). Introduction to psychology (5th ed.). Brooks, USA: Cole Wadsworth.
- Ridner, S. H. (2004). Psychological distress: Concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 45(5), 536–545. CrossRef
- Santrock, J. W. (1992). Life-span development (4th ed.). USA: WCB Publishers.
- Sengendo, J., & Nambi, J. (1997). The psychological effect of orphanhood: A study of orphans in Rakai district. Health Transition Review, Supplement to Volume, 7, 105–124.
- Silverman, A. B., Reinherz, H. Z., & Giaconia, R. M. (1996). The long-term sequelae of child and adolescent abuse: A longitudinal community study. Child Abuse and Neglect, 20(8), 709–723. CrossRef
- South African Government Information. (1996). Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. Chapter 2—Bill of Rights. Retrieved from http://www.info.gov.za/documents/constitution/1996/96cons2.htm.
- South African Social Security Agency. (2009). You and Your Grants 2009/10: Types of grants and their qualifying requirements. Pretoria: Department of Social Development.
- Speziale, H. J. S., & Carpenter, D. R. (2007). Qualitative research in nursing: Advancing the humanistic imperative (4th ed.). USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- The Fort Hare Institute of Social and Economic Research (FHISER). (2006). Rapid Eastern Cape provincial assessment of service delivery and socio-economic survey. East London: University of Fort Hare.
- Timms, C. (2011, 15 June). Can the South African legal system fight corrective rape? Ethical Living. Retrieved 21 June 2011, 2011, from http://www.ethicalliving.com.au/2011/06/can-the-south-african-legal-system-fight-corrective-rape/.
- Trickett, P. K., Mennen, F. E., Kim, K., & Sang, J. (2009). Emotional abuse in a sample of multiply maltreated, urban young adolescents: Issues of definition and identification. Child Abuse and Neglect, 33(1), 27–35. CrossRef
- van Renen, L. J., & Wild, L. G. (2008). Family functioning and suicidal ideation/behaviour in adolescents: A pilot study. Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 20(2), 111–121. CrossRef
- Wild, L. G., Flisher, A. J., & Lombard, C. (2004). Suicidal ideation and attempts in adolescents: associations with depression and six domains of self-esteem. Journal of Adolescence, 27(6), 611–624. CrossRef
- Disempowerment and Psychological Distress in the Lives of Young People in Eastern Cape, South Africa
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Volume 21, Issue 6 , pp 1018-1027
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Family economic hardships
- Parental death
- South Africa