The influence of cultural beliefs on social work intervention in mental health: views of frontline social workers

Blight, Keagan Brenlynn (2021-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.

Masters

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Despite the known influence culture has on the lives of all individuals, social work and many other disciplines, no other variable is so poorly informed and untested as culture. There is also a need to shift research to focus on intervention and include evaluations of evidence-based cultural appropriate methods of assisting individuals. In turn, this study aimed to investigate the influence of cultural beliefs on social work intervention in mental health. A clear focus was placed on mental health due to the acknowledgment of mental health being a significant public health issue in South Africa. A qualitative research approach was used for this study. This assisted in attaining in-depth accounts of the participants’ views. Both descriptive and exploratory research designs were utilised for this study. These designs further substantiated the need for attaining varying narratives from the participants. Furthermore, a purposive sampling method was used under which a criterion for inclusion was established. Fifteen participants were interviewed, using a semi-structured interview schedule, attached as Annexure B. Following this, the attained data was transcribed and thereafter analysed using thematic analysis. Based on t hese results, the main conclusions drawn from the findings included that social workers may not have a clear understanding of culture. Also, the caseloads of social workers negatively impact their intervention and therewith their ability to acknowledge culture and cultural beliefs in social work intervention. This is of great concern in the context of South Africa where approximately 30 cultural groups exist and where mental health statistics are rife. In light of the aforementioned, it is recommended that tertiary educational institutions include culture and its components (like cultural beliefs) more extensively into the curricula thus including in a student’s practice education. Moreover, The South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) and the National Department of Social Development should address the workload and working conditions of all social workers. This may assist social workers in developing their ability to acknowledge culture and cultural beliefs in social work intervention.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Ondanks die bekende invloed wat kultuur op die lewens van alle individue, maatskaplike werk en vele ander dissiplines het, is geen ander veranderlike so swak ingelig en ongetoets as kultuur nie. Daar is ook 'n behoefte om navorsing te verskuif na fokus op intervensie en evaluering van bewys gebaseerde kulturele geskikte metodes. Hierdie studie was daarop gemik om die invloed van kulturele oortuigings op maatskaplike intervensie in geestesgesondheid te ondersoek. ‘n Duidelike fokus is op geestesgesondheid geplaas omdat geestesgesondheid 'n belangrike openbare gesondheidskwessies in Suid-Afrika is. ‘n Kwalitatiewe navorsing benadering is vir hierdie studie gebruik. Dit het die navorser gehelp om 'n diepgaande weergawe van die deelnemer se standpunte te kry. Beide beskrywende en verkennende navorsingsontwerp is vir hierdie studie gebruik. Hierdie ontwerpe het verskillende verhale van die deelnemers gekry. Verder is 'n doelgerigte steekproefmetode gebruik waarvolgens 'n kriterium vir insluiting vasgestel is. Vyftien deelnemers is ondervra, met behulp van 'n semi-gestruktureerde onderhoud skedule, aangeheg as aanhangsel B. Hierna is die data getranskribeer en daarna geanaliseer met behulp van tematiese analise. Op grond van hierdie resultate het die belangrikste gevolgtrekkings uit die bevindinge ingesluit dat maatskaplike werkers moontlik nie 'n duidelike begrip van kultuur het nie. Verder beïnvloed die saak lading van maatskaplike werkers hul intervensie en daarmee hul vermoë om kultuur en kulturele oortuigings in maatskaplike werk intervensie te erken. Dit is baie kommerwekkend in Suid-Afrika waar ongeveer 30 kultuurgroepe bestaan en statistieke oor geestesgesondheid voorkom. In die lig van die bogenoemde word dit aanbeveel dat tersiêre opvoedings instellings kultuur en die komponente daarvan (soos kulturele oortuigings) meer omvattend in die kurrikula insluit, en dus in die praktyk opleiding van 'n student insluit. Boonop behoort die Suid -Afrikaanse Raad vir Maatskaplike Diensberoepe (SACSSP) en die Nasionale Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling die werklading en werksomstandighede van alle maatskaplike werkers aan te spreek. Dit kan maatskaplike werkers help om hul vermoë om kultuur en kulturele oortuigings in maatskaplike werk -intervensie te erken.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/123766
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