Mediating adolescent-caregiver conflict : guidelines for social workers

Maartens, Elize (2007-03)

Thesis (M Social Work (Social Work))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


An exploratory and descriptive research was conducted and the predominant research approach employed for this study is a qualitative research approach, however, elements of a quantitative research approach was included for the purpose of obtaining the goal of the research. The outcome of qualitative research is in the form of descriptive data in the participant’s own words, thereby identifying the participant’s beliefs and values that underlie the phenomena of adolescent-caregiver conflict. Consequently, this qualitative study is concerned with non-statistical methods and small samples that were purposively selected. However, some of the processed data were presented in a quantitative manner, by means of tables and figures. By means of observation within the field of social work, it has been noted that there is an increasing need for intervention between adolescents and caregivers, as disputes occur increasingly between caregivers and their children, especially during the adolescent years. Social workers often take on the role of mediator, or use elements of mediation, acting as intermediaries and emphasizing collaborative and consensual processes when dealing with conflict. However, mediation has been utilized in many different situations and problems, but the social work profession has not kept pace with the rapid development of mediation as both a conceptual framework and a practice approach to conflict resolution in diverse settings. Therefore, in doing this research study, the researcher’s motivation is to provide the necessary knowledge in this relatively new field by means of a theoretical framework and practical guidelines in using mediation.

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