Back To Schedule
Wednesday, June 17 • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Youth Headed Households - Mary Joyce Kapesa, Zoleka Soji, Kelly Schwartz

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Youth Headed Households:

Abstract #203
Cultural Manifestations of Resilience in Child Headed Households in Mutasa District, Zimbabwe
Presenter: Mary Joyce Kapesa
According to UNICEF and UNAIDS (2006) Zimbabwe had 50 000 child headed households (CHH) in 2002.  By 2010, the figure had gone up to more than 100 000, making Zimbabwe the African country with the highest number of CHH (UNICEF, 2010). These statistics gave rise to the sprouting of many organisations and programmes aimed at catering for the needs of the affected children. Not much attention is given to what the CHH can do for themselves and how they have been surviving without outside help. A qualitative study was undertaken to explore the experiences of children living in CHH and the factors that make them resilient.  A total of 28 children in ten CHH from Mutasa and Mutare urban districts participated in the study. Focus group discussions and qualitative interviews were used to collecte from 46 community members, 24 teachers and, 25 child service professionals.   The data was thematically analysed.The research findings indicate bi- directional influences of the CHH’s personal characteristics and an enabling environment that allowed the children to act on their strengths in a way that produced desired outcomes. The meaning of resilience was also explored from the perspective of the CHH and community leaders and members.

 Abstract #251
Resilience in Youth-Headed Households: Strengthening Networks of Support as Protective Factors
Presenter: Zoleka Soji Co - Presenter: Blanche Pretorius
The study seeks to explore and describe the protective factors within youth-headed families and community context that promote the resilience of youth-headed households.  
The study is based on the narrative life stories of six youth-headed families in Port Elizabeth, who were able to remain together as a family following the death of parents as well as perceptions of community members regarding the availability of protective factors within the community that promote resilience of these households. Data collection was conducted utilising multiple methods, such as one-on-one individual interviews with young people heading their households, family focus group interviews as well as both qualitative and quantitative methods to generate data regarding community protective factors and processes. 
The findings illustrate the following factors within the family and the community as playing a role in the enhancement of resilience of members of youth-headed households: availability of circles of care and social networks for the individual and the family as a whole within the community, strong family and social relationships within the family, religious and cultural affiliations and practices, availability of communication and problem solving skills at family levels, as well as, an ability to create hope. The findings also identified the need to build and strengthen communities through assert-based and community development approaches as part of efforts geared towards promoting resilience in youth-headed households.

Abstract #246
 For Crying Out Loud: Seeking and Finding Developmental Assets in Rural South African Township Youth 
Presenter: Kelly Schwartz
Contrary to a deficit-based approach, positive youth development (PYD) explores how personal and social environments can be studied to promote adaptive functioning (Damon, 2004; Lerner, 2004). Operationalizing this PYD framework, Zulu youth (N=511; M=16.3 years) from three rural township high schools completed the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP; Search Institute, 2005) that measured external (e.g., empowerment, support) and internal (e.g., positive values, social competency) assets. Risk and thriving behaviours were measured using the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Baseline Survey (Scope and Family Health International, 2002).  
Although almost one in five reported (17%) assets in the “low” range (e.g., constructive use of time), many youth reported developmental assets in the “good” and “fair” ranges (e.g., learning, boundaries and expectations). Multiple regression analysis revealed that specific internal and external assets accounted for significant variance in school success (R = .31), health behaviour (R = .29), community engagement (R = .32), and risk behaviour (R = .38); neither asset category significantly predicted access to food/medicine or reduced violence victimization.  Amidst a cultural context of significant risk, Zulu youth reported developmental assets that predicted thriving and risk outcomes.  Discussion will connect the presence and power of developmental strengths to local Zulu youth leadership programs.


Desira Davids

Nelson Mandela University

Kelly Schwartz

University of Calgary
Dr at University of CalgaryDr. Kelly Dean Schwartz is Associate Professor in the School and Applied Child Psychology program and Director, U of C Applied Psychological and Educational Services (UCAPES), an on-campus clinic serving children and families Calgary and area. He has a Ph.D... Read More →

Mary Joyce Kapesa

Africa University
I am a Psychology lecturer at Africa University, currently studying for my my PhD in Psychology at UNISA. I am a registered psychologist. I am a Fullbright Scholar and was awarded the staff development award in 2009/2010. I attended Purdue University as a Fullbright scholar during... Read More →


Blanche Pretorius

Dr. at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Dr Blanche Pretorius is the Director of the Research Capacity Development unit at the Nelson Mandela metropolitan University. She is also involved in student research in her role as a promoter and supervisor. She has successfully accompanied... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Seminar Room NAB 2nd Floor, King's College

Attendees (0)