Classroom behaviour of children living in contexts of adversity

Paterson, Celéste (2012-03)

Thesis (MedPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Many communities in South Africa are exposed to continuous adversity in the form of poverty, malnutrition, violence, crime, overcrowding, neglect and oppression. Continuous exposure to adverse living conditions can have a negative impact on a child‟s development. Research was undertaken in an attempt to understand the classroom behaviour of children who live in conditions of continuous adversity, as well as the effect that the adversity may have on their academic performance, their emotional state and their interaction with peers in the classroom. A bio-ecological framework was employed to understand the interaction between the individual and the different systems that he or she forms part of. This study was undertaken within an interpretive paradigm and a qualitative methodology was used in gathering the data. Data was gathered through the use of observation, semi-structured interviews, checklists and review of documents. A constant comparative method of data analysis was used to analyse the data. Research findings indicated that most of the participants displayed inappropriate classroom behaviour which included poor academic performance, withdrawal types of behaviour and externalising disruptive behaviour such as aggression and poor social interaction with the teacher and their peers. These participants also presented with some physical symptoms and displayed emotional states such as anger, sadness and anxiety. It was also evident that the participants had been exposed to pervasive conditions of poverty and adverse life circumstances in their communities.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Baie gemeenskappe in Suid-Afrika word blootgestel aan voortdurende ongunstige omstandighede in die vorm van armoede, wanvoeding, geweld, misdaad, oorvol huise, verwaarlosing en onderdrukking. Voortdurende blootstelling aan ongunstige lewensomstandighede kan ʼn negatiewe uitwerking hê op ʼn kind se ontwikkeling. Navorsing is onderneem in ʼn poging om die klaskamergedrag te verstaan van kinders wat in voortdurende ongunstige omstandighede leef, asook om insig te kry in die effek van hierdie omstandighede op hul akademiese prestasie, hul emosionele toestand en hul interaksie met hul klasmaats. ʼn Bio-ekologiese raamwerk is gebruik om die interaksie tussen die individu en die verskillende sisteme waarvan hy of sy deel uitmaak, te verstaan. Hierdie studie is binne ʼn interpretatiewe paradigma gedoen en ʼn kwalitatiewe metodologie is gebruik vir die insameling van data. Data-insameling is gedoen deur middel van waarneming, semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude, kontrolelyste en dokumentoorsig. ʼn Konstante vergelykende metode van data-analise is gebruik om die data te ontleed. Die navorsingsbevindings het aangetoon dat die meeste van die deelnemers ontoepaslike klaskamergedrag openbaar het. Dit behels ook swak akademiese prestasie, teruggetrokke gedrag en ontwrigtende gedrag soos aggressie en swak sosiale interaksie met die onderwyser en hul klasmaats. Hierdie deelnemers het sekere fisieke simptome asook emosionele toestande soos woede, hartseer en angstigheid gerapporteer. Voorts was dit duidelik dat die deelnemers blootgestel was aan voortdurende toestande van armoede en ongunstige lewensomstandighede in hul gemeenskappe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/19989
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