Exploring fatalism in adolescents

Brink, Marthinus Ryk (2014-04)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This qualitative study used an interpretive paradigm within a theoretical framework of social cognitive theory to explore fatalism within the context of the lived experiences of adolescents. A tentative assumption was made that fatalism among adolescents may be at the root of a variety of recognisable behavioural and educational problems that manifest in South African society. At the same time the study aimed to investigate how fatalism may manifest in and colour the lived experiences of adolescents, as well to investigate how fatalism possibly affects educational attainment. This study was informed by a literature review which addressed the different theoretical perspectives pertaining to the etiology of fatalism. The literature was approached from a very wide perspective, including contributions from the various disciplines in the field of social sciences including theology, philosophy, psychology and social theory. These insights were complemented by perspectives from educational psychology particularly with regard to adolescent development and learning theory. The sample of the study constituted of 164 grade 11 learners from five schools in the Western Cape. Data was collected by making use of creative strategies, focus groups and personal interviews. This study found the following: adolescent fatalism seems to emanate from the lived experiences of adolescents as a cognitive phenomenon, rooted in the deterministic beliefs of adolescents about their selves, others, as well as the physical and social environments, with behavioural, affective and psychological consequences. Adolescent fatalism colour their lived experiences by causing alienation from those experiences, oppositional behaviour and feelings of pessimism, anxiety and depression. Adolescent fatalism seems to affect educational attainment by contributing to fixed implicit theories of academic potential, low level of motivation, disengagement from the educational system and the social aspects of learning.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie kwalitatiewe studie is gedoen binne 'n interpretatiwe paradigma en vanuit die teoretiese raamwerk van die sosiaal-kognitiewe teorie ten einde fatalisme binne die lewensondervindinge van adolessente te ondersoek. 'n Tentatiewe aanname is gemaak dat fatalisme onder adolessente aan die kern van 'n verskeidenheid van herkenbare gedrags- en opvoedkundige probleme in die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing mag lê. Verder was die studie daarop gemik om ondersoek in te stel na die manifestering van fatalisme in die lewens van adolessente, hoe dit die lewensondervindinge van adolessente raak en hoe dit die bereiking van opvoedkundige doelwitte beïnvloed. Die studie is gebaseer op 'n literatuuroorsig wat die verskillende teoretiese perspektiese rakende die etiologie van fatalisme aanspreek. Die literatuuroorsig is vanuit 'n wye perspektief benader en sluit interdissiplinêre bydraes uit die veld van die sosiale wetenskappe byvoorbeeld teologie, filosofie, sielkunde en sosiale teorie. Hierdie insigte is gekombineer met perspektiewe uit die opvoedkundige sielkunde, spesifiek ten opsigte van adolessente ontwikkeling en leerteorie. Die steekproef vir die studie het uit 164 leerders uit 5 skole bestaan. Data is ingesamel deur van kreatiewe strategieë asook fokusgroep en individuele onderhoude gebruik te maak. In hierdie studie is die volgende bevindinge gemaak: adolessente fatalisme blyk uit die lewensondervindinge van adolessente te voorskyn te kom. Dit manifesteer as 'n kognitiewe fenomeen wat gewortel is in die deterministiese geloof van adolessente aangaande hulself, ander, sowel as die fisieke en sosiale omgewings, met gedrags-, affektiewe en sielkundige gevolge. Adolessente fatalisme kleur hul lewenservaringe deur hulle van daardie ervaringe te vervreem, tot weerstandige gedrag aanleiding te gee en gevoelens van pessimisme, angs en depressie te veroorsaak. Adolessente fatalisme blyk ook die bereiking van opvoedkundige doelwitte te beïnvloed deurdat dit aanleiding gee tot vaste implisiete teorieë oor akademiese potensiaal, lae vlakke van motivering meebring, onttrekking uit die opvoedkundige stelsel aan die hand werk en die sosiale aspekte van leer beïnvloed.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86374
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