An exploration of resilience characteristics that families draw upon with the crisis of their child being bullied

Freeman, Victoria Marrianne (2018-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary aim of this study was to identify resilience characteristics that families drew upon to cope when they were faced with the crisis of their child being bullied. The secondary aim of this study was to explore how parents experienced the bullying. This study was conducted through the lens of positive psychology and, more specifically, using Walsh’s (1996) family resilience theoretical framework. This is a qualitative study, in which data was collected from seven families. All the participants were recruited from the Cape Town area in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Data was obtained by means of semi-structured interviews, in which participants were asked how they experienced the crisis, and how they, as a family, coped with their child being bullied. All the participating families were represented by the mother. The qualitative data was analysed through the process of thematic analysis. The data was analysed and the findings were presented according to the two aims of the study. Firstly, with regard to how parents experienced the crisis of their child being bullied, three categories of themes emerged. These were the reactions of parents, the emotions experienced by the parents, and their experience with the school. It was evident from the findings that families experienced a wide range of emotions and reactions to their child being bullied. Findings relating to the second aim of the study, namely which resilience characteristics families used to cope when their child was bullied, were divided into two categories of themes: Intra-familial resources and extra-familial resources. Both intra- and extra-familial resources were vital in enabling these families to cope with the crisis. These findings suggest and identify qualities and resources that could be used in future interventions to strengthen other families’ resilience if they experience the crisis of having a child who is being bullied. Several directions for future research were also identified. A future study on a similar topic, in which a larger, more diverse sample is used would provide greater insight into how parents and families cope with and experience bullying in South Africa. Interviewing both partners, and not just the mothers as the family representative, would also provide greater insight. This study has also highlighted the need for more effective anti-bullying programmes in schools, in which families and schools should work together, to facilitate the programme and promote an environment that strengthens much-needed trust between the two parties.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die primêre doel van hierdie navorsing was om veerkragtigheidsfaktore te identifiseer wat gesinne in staat stel om die krisis van hul kind wat geboelie word, te hanteer. Die tweede doel van die navorsing was om te bepaal hoe die afknou van die kind deur die ouers ervaar word. Die navorsing is beplan en onderneem vanuit die uitgangspunt van Positiewe Sielkunde en meer spesifiek deur gebruik te maak van Walsh (1996) se teoretiese Gesinsveerkragtigheids-raamwerk. In hierdie kwalitatiewe studie is data by sewe gesinne ingesamel wat woonagtig is in die groter Kaapstad metropool in die Wes-Kaap provinsie van Suid Afrika. Data is ingesamel deur middel van semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude, waar die deelnemers uitgevra is oor hoe hulle as ouerpaar die krisis ervaar het en hoe hulle as gesin die boelie van hul kind hanteer het. Al die deelnemende gesinne is deur die moeder van die kind verteenwoordig. Die kwalitatiewe data is sistematies deur middel van tema-ontleding verwerk. Die resultate en interpretering daarvan word ooreenkomstig die twee doelstellings van die navorsingsprojek aangebied. Eerstens, wat betref ouers se ervarings van om ’n kind te hê wat geboelie word, het daar drie kategorieë in die temas na vore gekom. Die drie kategorieë is: Die reaksie van die ouers; die emosies ervaar deur die ouers; en die ouers se ervaring met die skool. Dit volg duidelik uit die bevindinge dat die ouers ’n wye verskeidenheid van emosies, reaksies en ervarings gehad het nadat hulle bewus geword het dat hulle kind geboelie word. Bevindinge met betrekking tot die hoofdoelstelling van die ondersoek – die identifisering van gesinsveerkragtigheidskenmerke – kan in twee kategorieë verdeel word. Hierdie is interne gesinskenmerke en eksterne gesinskenmerke. Beide hierdie kategorieë omsluit kenmerke wat gesinne in staat stel om die krisis te hanteer, terug te bons en voort te gaan met die lewe. Hierdie bevindinge identifiseer sekere kenmerke en hulpbronne wat moontlik in toekomstige situasies deur ander gesinne ingespan kan word, sou hulle ervaar dat hul kind geboelie word. Op grond van hierdie studie word verskeie aanbevelings vir toekomstige navorsing gemaak. ’n Meer omvattende ondersoek met ’n groter en meer diverse steekproef sal ’n belangrike bydrae maak tot kennis oor gesinsreaksies in verskeie studiepopulasies in ’n diverse Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing. ’n Onderhoud met beide ouers, en nie slegs met die moeder nie, word ook voorgestel. Hierdie ondersoek beklemtoon ook dat meer effektiewe programme om boelie-gedrag in skole te hanteer, ontwikkel kan word indien gesinne ingesluit word in die beplanning en aanbieding van sodanige programme.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/104894
This item appears in the following collections: