Doctoral Degrees (Psychology)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 113
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    Exploring conceptualisations and praxis of community engagement with Stellenbosch University student leaders
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Demas, Grant Henry; Naidoo, Anthony V.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Community engagement (CE) is a mandatory enterprise at South African higher education institutions (SAHEIs). One of the main reasons for this is to redress the damaging legacy of apartheid. Historically, these institutions were designed to be complicit in perpetuating the objectives of apartheid, and it is therefore important that due great care be exercised in how these institutions conceptualise and enact CE. This study explored SU students’ conceptualisation and praxis of CE. Twenty-one SU student volunteers in various CE leadership roles, within the ambit of their student club, society, residence, and faculty structures, were individually interviewed with the view to develop a theoretical explanation to explore the question: What is the theoretical explanation for Stellenbosch University students’ conceptualisation and praxis of voluntary community engagement? This was accomplished this by applying a grounded theory approach to analyse each interview transcript until a narrative emerged from the themes that were generated, from which a theoretical explanation was developed. I found that family, faith (religion), school, neighbourhood as formative microsystem contexts, and the broader socio-political and historical macrosystemic context in South Africa shaped this study’s participants’ conceptualisation and praxis of CE. Initially their CE praxis was predominantly motivated by altruistic intentions and then morphed into transactional and, in some cases, transformative ideals, as a consequence of participation in their CE initiatives. This study contributes to understanding the conceptualisation and implementation of CE as it provides a rich description of CE from different perspectives of students volunteering within their club and societies’ structures. It also provides insight into how university structuring of CE can enable and support Stellenbosch University iii student based voluntary initiatives. The findings suggest that in order to achieve transformative ideals of CE, it is imperative to imbed an awareness of contextual influences and to adequately prepare and consistently support the students who stand in this critical position between the university and its engagement with external organizations and communities.
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    Family relationships and non-resident black South African fathers’ contact with their adolescent children: a study of families with infrequent non-resident father-child contact
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Nell, Erika; Elmien, Lesch; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Constructive paternal involvement has the potential to greatly contribute to family and child mental health. Many South African fathers, however, do not live with or close to their children and are not benefiting from regular father-child contact. The relationships between non-resident fathers and other members in the larger family system play a significant role in father child contact in general, but especially in Black South African communities where fatherhood is understood to happen to families rather than individuals. Moreover, the quality of the parental relationship is often significantly influenced by the inputs of maternal grandparents or other extended kin. However, the non-resident father as a member of the larger family system, in which his relationships with key family members play an important role in father-child contact, has been neglected in South African family research. This study aimed to address this gap by investigating if and how the quality of relationships with biological children of Black South African non-resident fathers is influenced by the quality of his relationships with key family members. This study was informed by family systems theory and utilised a qualitative research design in which data from multiple family members were obtained. Purposive sampling resulted in the recruitment of ten family systems with four family members participating in the study (N = 40). This included the non-residential father, his adolescent biological child, mother of the child, and extended family member. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with each of these members to explore the nature and quality of the father’s contact with the child, mother, and extended family; and how the quality of these relationships impacted father child contact. These interviews were transcribed and Braun and Clarke’s six-phase thematic analysis method was used to identify the following five themes that shed light on infrequent non-resident father-child contact: (i) Fathers as mainly material providers: The dominance of the father as provider discourse negatively affected family relationships and limited father child contact as mothers saw the father’s provision as proof of his affection for his child. (ii) Expectations of fathers beyond provision: Family members acknowledged that fathers have roles beyond provision. They thought that fathers could contribute to children’s well-being by showing interest in their children’s lives and having contact with them, as well as contribute children’s academic functioning. (iii) Responsibility for father-child contact: Mothers, children and extended kin put the onus of father-child contact on the father. Fathers in return awaited the mothers’ contact as indication that their presence was welcome and convenient, but mothers viewed this as ‘forcing’ father-child contact. (iv) Extended kin as father-child contact resource: Stellenbosch University iii Extended kin supported father-child contact and could be seen as a potential resource. They often acted as intermediaries, provided a physical space for father-child contact and/or waived the payment of damages as a precondition for father-child contact. (v) Changes in families after the interviews: This theme highlights the unexpected and encouraging changes that occurred after the first interviews in terms of increased quality and frequency of father-child contact, as well as increased provision from the father. These shifts suggest that non-resident father families may be open to feedback and able to implement changes toward frequent father-child contact. Some recommendations based on these findings are that more should be done on the macrosystem level to emphasise, promote and support a range of non-resident father contributions to child well-being, providing non-resident fathers with knowledge and skills (that do not involve money) to build father-child connections, and the encouragement and provision of mediation services for non-resident families to assist family members to work together to support constructive non-resident father-child contact
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    Adopting transracially in the Western Cape: understanding families’ experiences in context
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Luyt, Jean; Swartz, Leslie; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Transracial adoption was legalised in South Africa in 1991 after legislation prohibiting it was removed, but it remains controversial. International research into transracial adoption includes outcomes studies, studies on identity development of transracial adoptees and parents’ efforts at ethnic-racial socialisation. Research into transracial adoption tends to focus on the transracially adopted children and adoptive mothers with experiences of other members of the family and the transracial adoptive family as a whole only starting to get attention recently. Relevance of international research may be limited because of significant contextual differences in South Africa. Limited research into transracial adoption in South Africa includes research into the attitudes towards transracial adoption and experiences of adoptive parents, particularly mothers, and adoptees. The research tends to be exploratory, uses varied theoretical paradigms and methodology, based on small sample sizes. The experience of transracial adoption is best understood in the context of family and no research into the tasks and challenges facing the transracial adoptive family exists in South Africa. This research on the experiences of transracial adoptive families in the Western Cape, was conducted via qualitative methodology, using a family life cycle model as a theoretical framework. Using this framework allowed me to describe and investigate the experiences, challenges and tasks facing transracial adoptive families without pathologising them. Twenty-six transracial adoptive families were recruited using convenience and snowball sampling. The sample included 31 adoptive parents, (25 woman and 6 men) and eight adoptees (five adopted girls, two adopted boys and one female adult adoptee). Data gathering was conducted by means of 12 semi-structured family interviews and six focus groups. Themes emerging from iterative thematic analysis were reported according to the life stage of the adoptive family. The challenges related to the pre-placement phase are related to making the decision to adopt and managing the adoption process. In South African transracial adoptive families, barriers to biological parenthood are not the only motivation to adopt, and a significant number of transracial adoptive families have both adopted and biological children. Significant challenges faced by prospective adoptive parents in the adoption process include the demanding nature and lack of uniformity of the adoption process, post-placement bureaucracy and significant ambivalence towards adoption social workers. Post-placement, the biological family and the adoptive family are permanently joined, even if the adoptive family wishes to deny this. Creating a transracial adoptive family identity and managing relationships with biological family are ongoing challenges for the transracial adoptive family in the post-placement phase. Different aspects of these ongoing tasks become salient at different stages of the life cycle, prompted by individual development, family development and changes in the external environment. Implications for adoption policy and practice and support offered to the transracial adoptive family are discussed. The limitations to the study include the limited number of men, lack of non-adopted siblings who participated and the sample being skewed towards families with young children. This limited the opportunity to investigate aspects related to all family members and later stages in the life cycle model.
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    Explanatory models of child intellectual disability: Views of caregivers, spiritual healers and traditional healers in Khayelitsha, Cape Town
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Mkabile, Siyabulela; Swartz, Leslie; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: n South Africa healthcare services are not limited to biomedical care. However, biomedical services for people with intellectual disability (PWID) are still sparse in South Africa. Lack of sufficient and efficient biomedical services for PWID has prompted service users to explore alternative non-biomedical approaches for both their mental and medical healthcare needs. These alternative non-biomedical approaches include, but are not limited to, traditional and spiritual healing methods. To achieve this, I used both Kleinman’s Explanatory Models of illness and Bronfenbrenner’s socioecological model as frameworks to guide the study for the individual interviews and focus group discussions with caregivers and parents of children with ID, traditional healers and spiritual healers who resided in an urban low socio-economic setting in Cape Town. Findings from this study suggest that although there is a universal understanding and conceptualisation of ID in the Western biomedical professional sector, there are differences in the understanding, conceptualisation and management of ID in both popular and folk sectors. In addition, caregivers, parents, traditional healers and spiritual healers almost all used similar terms to biomedical terms of ID. The majority of participants from both traditional and spiritual healing methods believed collaboration with the biomedical sector was possible and desirable, with only a minority who were not in favour. The lived experiences of carers of children with ID revealed the struggles, isolation and hardship experienced by families of children diagnosed with this condition. The physical, economic and social marginalisation of children and families with ID, given the context of poverty and lack of access to quality services in which they live, as well as the stigma and lack of understanding of what ID is, all compounded the difficult experience of raising a child with ID.
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    Predictors of medication adherence in people hospitalised with tuberculosis: utility of the Health Belief Model
    (2021-12) Rynhoud, Leigh; Kagee, Ashraf; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore the utility of the Health Belief Model (HBM) to predict adherence to treatment for tuberculosis. The first aim was to develop an appropriate, and freely available instrument to measure tuberculosis medication-taking behaviour. The final scale consisted of four self-reported questions, and one question based on information obtained from reports made by health care-providers. I named this scale the Tuberculosis Adherence Scale (TB-AS). The Cronbach’s alpha calculated for TB-AS was 0.69. The second aim of this study was to construct a questionnaire based on the HBM specific to adherence to tuberculosis medication. I administered the HBM measure to 205 participants. Following an item analysis and exploratory factor analysis, 41 items were retained, and five subscales were extracted. I named the subscales Perceived Threat, Perceived Benefits, Perceived Barriers, Self-Efficacy and Cues to Action. I named the questionnaire the Tuberculosis Health Belief Scale (TB-HBS). The TB-HBS demonstrated excellent internal consistency and produced a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.87. The Cronbach’s alpha for each subscale ranged from 0.72 to 0.81. The final aim of the study was to explore the utility of the HBM and additional variables to predict adherence to tuberculosis treatment. I used a cross sectional design and 175 participants who were hospitalised at two specialised tuberculosis hospitals in the Western Cape, South Africa were recruited. Adherence was measured using the TB-AS, health beliefs using the TB-HBS and beliefs about medicine evaluated by the Beliefs about Medicine Questionnaire, Alcohol use, drug use and depression were assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Drug Use Disorder Identification Test and Beck Depression Inventory respectively. The results obtained from the TB-AS indicated that 33.1% of participants had low adherence, 34.3% had medium adherence and 32.5% of participants had high adherence. The HBM factors did not significantly predict adherence and explained an additional 2% of variance when included in the regression analysis. Older age [  = 0.24, t (158) = 3.37, p < 0.01], full time occupation [ = 0.18, t (158) = 2.47, p = 0.01], high belief in the general harm of medication [  = 0.20, t (158) = 2.07, p = 0.04], fewer specific concerns about tuberculosis treatment [  = -0.04, t (158) = -2.11, p = 0.04], lower alcohol use [  = -0.20, t (158) = -2.76, p = 0.01], fewer symptoms of depression [ = -0.16, t (158) = -2.09, p = 0.04] significantly predicted improved adherence to treatment for tuberculosis. The results of the regression analysis indicated that the model explained 21% of the variance in adherence (adj R2 =0.21, F (3, 158) = 5.12, p< 0.01) yielding a moderate effect size (ƒ2 = 0.27). The TB-HBS and the TB-AS showed promise as reliable tools to measure health beliefs and adherence to treatment, respectively. The findings suggest that the HBM may not be an appropriate theoretical model to predict adherence to treatment in this context. Further research is recommended to explore the complex and interacting dimensions that affect adherence to tuberculosis treatment.