The experience of stress in adolescents living in low-income communities in the Western Cape : the role of self-esteem, coping and perceived social support

Harrison, Carmen (2014-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Contextual stressors that are associated with living in low-income communities have an adverse impact on the mental health of adolescents. International studies indicate that this outcome is influenced by the presence of factors that may buffer the impact of stressors, or which may increase adolescents' vulnerability to experiencing stress. The present study was aimed at exploring the factors that influence the mental health of 173 school-going adolescents residing in low-income communities in the Western Cape. By using a quantitative method with a correlational design, the research explored the relationship between depression (measured on the Beck Depression Inventory - Second Edition) and the following factors respectively: self-esteem (measured on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale), coping strategies (measured on the Coping Strategies Indicator), perceived social support (measured on the Social Support Appraisals Scale) and resilience (measured on the Resilience Scale for Adolescents). Results of the correlational analyses indicated that high self-esteem, higher use of the problem-solving coping strategy, stronger perceived social support and higher resilience were significantly related to decreased levels of depression. In contrast, higher use of the avoidant coping strategy was significantly related to higher levels of depression. These results indicate that while some factors may buffer the impact of perceived contextual stressors on adolescents' mental health (for example, problem-solving coping, stronger perceived social support and resilience), other factors may increase adolescents' vulnerability to experiencing depression (for example, avoidant coping). These results may inform interventions focused on promoting mental health or preventing incidence of depression in adolescents living in low-income communities.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kontekstuele stressors wat geassosieer word met ʼn bestaan in lae-inkomstegemeenskappe het ʼn nadelige impak op die geestesgesondheid van adolessente. Internasionale studies dui daarop dat hierdie resultaat beïnvloed word deur die teenwoordigheid van faktore wat die impak van stressors kan versag of adolessente se kwesbaarheid vir stres kan verhoog. Die huidige studie is daarop gemik om ondersoek in te stel na die faktore wat die geestesgesondheid van 173 skoolgaande adolessente, wat in lae-inkomstegemeenskappe in die Wes-Kaap woon, beïnvloed. Deur ʼn kwantitatiewe metode met ʼn korrelasionele ontwerp te gebruik, het die studie ondersoek ingestel na die verhouding tussen depressie (bepaal volgens die Beck-depressie-inventaris-Tweede uitgawe [Beck Depression Inventory - Second Edition]) en die volgende faktore: selfagting (bepaal volgens die Rosenberg-selfagtingskaal [Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale]), hanteringstrategieë (bepaal volgens die hanteringstrategie-aanduider [Coping Strategies Indicator]), waarneembare sosiale ondersteuning (bepaal volgens die sosiale-ondersteuningstakseringskaal [Social Support Appraisals Scale]) en geeskragtigheid (bepaal volgens die geesteskragtigheidskaal vir adolessente [Resilience Scale for Adolescents]). Die resultate van die korrelasionele ontleding dui daarop dat hoë selfagtingsvlakke, ʼn toename in die gebruik van probleemoplossingstrategieë vir die hantering van situasies, beter waarneembare sosiale steun en hoër geeskragtigheidsvlakke ʼn beduidende verwantskap toon met ʼn afname in depressievlakke. In teenstelling hiermee was daar ʼn opvallende verband tussen vermydingsgedragstrategieë en hoër depressievlakke. Hierdie resultate dui daarop dat hoewel sommige faktore die impak van waarneembare kontekstuele stressors op die geestesgesondheid van adolessente kan versag (byvoorbeeld probleemoplossingstrategieë vir die hantering van situasies, beter waarneembare sosiale steun en geeskragtigheid), ander faktore die adolessente se kwesbaarheid vir depressie kan verhoog (byvoorbeeld vermydingsgedragstrategieë). Hierdie resultate kan moontlik ʼn bydrae lewer tot ingrypings wat gemik is op die verbetering van geestesgesondheid of op die voorkoming van die voorkoms van depressie by adolessente wat in lae-inkomstegemeenskappe leef.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86625
This item appears in the following collections: