A programme to enhance resilience in families in which a child has a hearing loss

Ahlert, Ingrid Anita (2009-12)

Thesis (DPhil (Psychology))—University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to identify and enhance specific resilience qualities that help protect and support families in overcoming the adversity of having a child with a hearing impairment. The study was divided into two phases, namely (a) the descriptive phase, which aimed to identify and explore the resilience qualities that foster better adaptation in these families and (b) the intervention phase, which aimed to develop, implement and evaluate an intervention programme that enhances the utilisation of social support, one important resilience quality identified in the descriptive phase of the study. The study was essentially exploratory and descriptive in nature and was directed at developing scientific knowledge and theory in the field of family resilience. Using the Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation (McCubbin & McCubbin, 1996) as the theoretical framework, the resilience process was mapped in terms of stressors, risk and protective factors, and family adaptation. The 54 participating families in the descriptive phase were identified according to the nature of the crisis (hearing impairment) and the developmental phase of the family. The participants were obtained by means of a non-probability, purposive sampling procedure and were drawn from the black, coloured and white cultural subgroups residing in the Western Cape, South Africa. Both quantitative and qualitative measures were used for data collection. The results were analysed predominantly according to correlation and regression analyses techniques, while the qualitative data was categorised according to themes and frequencies. Results showed that family time and routine, social support, affirming communication, family hardiness, problem-solving skills, religion, a search for meaning and accepting the disability were factors promoting resilience in these families. A randomised pretest-posttest control group design was applied in the intervention phase of the study. The 31 participants were identified in the initial phase of the study and belonged to the coloured cultural subgroup. Data was again collected using quantitative and qualitative measures and was analysed using repeated measures analysis of variance and grounded theory analysis. The results did not indicate a statistically significant change in the utilisation of social support following the implementation of the workshop. The qualitative data, however, highlighted that the participants reported greater support from the immediate and extended family, increased family time and routine, as well as improved communication and problem-solving skills following the workshop. The study generally offers valuable knowledge that can be incorporated in psychological and social training programmes, preventative community interventions and therapeutic settings. The positive and pragmatic approach adopted in the study ensures that families are empowered by bringing them hope, helping them develop new competencies and building mutual support. The study has opened various new avenues for future research in the field of family resilience and hearing impairment.

OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om spesifieke veerkragtigheidskwaliteite te identifiseer en versterk wat gesinne met ’n kind met ‘n gehoorgestremdheid teen teenspoed beskerm en ondersteun. Die studie is in twee verdeel, naamlik (a) die beskrywende fase, met die doel om die veerkragtigheidskwaliteite wat beter aanpassing in hierdie gesinne gekweek het, te identifiseer en ondersoek, en (b) die intervensiefase, met die doel om ’n intervensieprogram te ontwikkel, implementeer en evalueer wat die gebruik van sosiale ondersteuning, een van die belangrike veerkragtigheidskwaliteite wat in die beskrywende fase van die studie geïdentifiseer is, te verhoog. Die studie was in wese ondersoekend en beskrywend van aard en daarop gerig om wetenskaplike kennis en teorie in die veld van gesinsveerkragtigheid te ontwikkel. Met die gebruik van die Veerkragtigheidsmodel van Gesinspanning, Verstelling en Aanpassing (Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation) (McCubbin & McCubbin, 1996) as teoretiese raamwerk, is die veerkragtigheidsproses uitgestippel in terme van die oorsake van die spanning, risiko- en beskermende faktore, en gesinsaanpassing. Die 54 gesinne wat aan die beskrywende fase deelgeneem het, is op grond van die aard van die krisis (gehoorgestremdheid) asook die ontwikkelingsfase van die gesin geïdentifiseer. Die deelnemers is deur middel van ’n doelgerigte nie-waarskynlikheidsteekproefnemingsprosedure verwerf vanuit swart, kleurling en blanke gesinne wat in die Wes-Kaap, Suid- Afrika woon. Beide kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe metings is vir data-insameling gebruik. Die resultate is hoofsaaklik aan die hand van korrelasie- en regressieontledingstegnieke geanaliseer, terwyl die kwalitatiewe data volgens temas en frekwensies gekategoriseer is. Die resultate het getoon dat gesinstyd en -roetine, sosiale ondersteuning, bevestigende kommunikasie, gesinsgehardheid, probleemoplossings-vaardighede, geloof, ’n soeke na betekenis en die aanvaarding van die gestremdheid faktore was wat die veerkragtigheid van hierdie gesinne bevorder het. ’n Ewekansige voor- en natoets kontrolegroep-ontwerp is tydens die intervensiefase van die studie toegepas. Die 31 deelnemers is tydens die aanvanklike fase van die studie geïdentifiseer en behoort tot die kleurling kulturele groep. Data is weereens deur middel van kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe metings ingesamel en is aan die hand van herhaalde metingsvariansieontleding en gegronde teorie-analise geanaliseer. Die resultate het geen statisties beduidende verskil in die gebruik van sosiale ondersteuning ná die implementering van die werkswinkel getoon nie. Die kwalitatiewe data het egter beklemtoon dat deelnemers ná die werkswinkel meer ondersteuning van hulle onmiddellike en uitgebreide familie geniet het, sowel as meer gesinstyd en -roetine, verbeterde kommunikasie en probleemoplossingsvaardighede. Oor die algemeen bied die studie waardevolle kennis wat by sielkundige en sosiale opleidingsprogramme, voorkomende gemeenskapsingryping en in terapeutiese raamwerke ingelyf kan word. Die positiewe en pragmatiese benadering in die studie verseker dat gesinne bemagtig word deur hulle hoop te bied, nuwe bekwaamhede te help ontwikkel en wedersydse ondersteuning op te bou. Die studie het talle nuwe weë vir toekomstige navorsing op die gebied van gesinsveerkragtigheid en gehoorgestremdheid gebaan.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1378
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