Resilience factors in single parent families affected by HIV/AIDS

Strauss, Werner F. (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to investigate factors that help single-parent families cope with the news that a family member has been diagnosed with HIV. The theoretical model that underpinned the study is the Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation of McCubbin and McCubbin (1996). A salutogenic perspective offers a view of human suffering that moves away from pathology to focus on factors that support successful coping, hence the focus of the current study on resilience. A cross-sectional survey research design was used, incorporating a combination method inclusive of both a qualitative and quantitative component. A total of 109 families, represented by an adult and a child, answered a qualitative question about what they considered to have helped them cope, and completing a biographical questionnaire and five questionnaires based on the theoretical model. Analyses included the Grounded Theory Method, a qualitative analysis method of Strauss and Corbin (1994; 1998), Pearson correlations and ANOVAs (for a categorical independent variable – employment status) to compute the significance of correlations between a dependent variable and a number of independent variables, and regression analysis. The results of the qualitative investigation revealed that families considered internal strength (or hardiness), social supports, communication, a sense of hope, using denial (both positive and negative behaviours to get on with life despite the presence of hardship), changing or reframing thoughts about the stressor, and material support to have been helpful. The quantitative results supported the qualitative results and showed that family hardiness (working together, viewing stressors as challenges and having a belief in own coping abilities), the availability of social support, supportive communication, use of reframing, accepting help from others and spiritual support all contributed to families functioning well under adverse conditions. It was also shown that inflaming types of communication, such as fighting and doing nothing about a crisis situation, negatively influenced the family functioning. It was interesting to note that family size had a significant, positive correlation with the parents’ views of family functioning, and that the higher the children’s level of education, the lower they rated their family functioning to be. Recommendations for further studies include a focus on resilience in various family types, a focus on families successfully coping with HIV diagnoses in their families, and the development of intervention programmes, inclusive of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die huidige studie was om ondersoek in te stel na faktore wat enkelouer gesinne met ‘n MIV-gediagnoseerde gesinslid ondersteun het. Die studie is teoreties gebou op McCubbin en McCubbin (1996) se Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation. Salutogenese bied ‘n siening of waardering van die manier waarop mense terugslae hanteer wat weg beweeg van die tradisionele fokus op patologie om te fokus op faktore wat suksesvolle aanpassing ondersteun ten spyte van die teenwoordigheid van genoemde krisis. Hierdie benadering bepaal dus die fokus op veerkragtigheid of gesinsveerkragtigheid wat hierdie studie rig. ’n Deursnee- steekproefontwerp is vir die navorsing gebruik en het ‘n kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe komponent ingesluit. ‘n Totaal van 109 gesinne is bestudeer, elk deur een volwassene en een kind verteenwoordig. Die deelnemers het ‘n kwalitatiewe vraag beantwoord oor wat hulle as ondersteunend ten opsigte van hulle eie krisishantering beskou het, en het ook ‘n biografiese vraelys en vyf vraelyste wat verskillende aspekte van die teoretiese model gemeet het, voltooi. Die deelnemers se response is ontleed deur middel van Strauss en Corbin (1994; 1998) se Grounded Theory Method vir die kwalitatiewe komponent; Pearson se korrelasies en ANOVA’s (ten opsigte van ‘n katogoriese onafhanklike veranderlike – werkstatus) is gebruik om die korrelasies tussen die afhanklike en ‘n aantal onafhanklike veranderlikes te bereken en regressie-ontledings is gedoen. Die kwalitatiewe resultate het aangedui dat die volgende faktore deur die gesinne beskou is as ondersteunend van hulle vermoë om krisisse te hanteer: innerlike sterkte, sosiale ondersteuning, kommunikasie, ‘n gevoel van hoop, die gebruik van ontkenning (beide positiewe en negatiewe gedrag om met die lewe aan te gaan ten spyte van die swaarkry), verandering van of herbesinning oor die stressor, en materiële ondersteuning. Die kwantitatiewe bevindinge het die kwalitatiewe resultate ondersteun en getoon dat gesinsgehardheid (saamwerk, beskouing van stressors as uitdagings en ‘n vertroue in eie vermoëns), die beskikbaarheid van sosiale ondersteuning, ondersteunende kommunikasie, die gebruik van herbesinning, aanvaarding van hulp van ander en geestelike ondersteuning almal gehelp het om die gesin onder ongunstige toestande goed te laat funksioneer. Daar is ook gevind dat opruiende soorte kommunikasie, soos baklei en niks oor ‘n krisissituasie te doen nie, ‘n negatiewe invloed op gesinsfunksionering gehad het. Dit was interessant om te vind dat gesinsgrootte positief met die ouers se beskouing van gesinsfunksionering gekorreleer het, terwyl ‘n hoër vlak van opvoeding onder die kinders gekorreleer het met ‘n laer skatting van gesinsfunksionering. Aanbevelings vir verdere navorsing sluit in ‘n fokus op gesinsveerkragtigheid in verskillende gesinstipes, ‘n fokus op gesinne wat ‘n MIV-diagnose in die gesin suksesvol hanteer, en die ontwikkeling van ingrypingsprogramme gebaseer op die beginsels van Kognitiewe Gedragsterapie en Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

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