Reflections on the experiences of a group of emerging-adult violent offenders and the value of interventions in navigating their lives

Stewart, Grant Charles (2020-03)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : This study sought to explore the experiences and meaning-making process of emerging-adult violent offenders and the value of interventions in navigating the social spaces of their lives. Underpinning this study was a broad view of violence and that communities suffering from historical and persistent violence be viewed as urban war zones. Consequently, young men growing up in such social-historical contexts are often faced with having to navigate multiple spaces fraught with various forms of violence. The consequences of this exposure to violence is manifold, including a readiness for aggressive and violent responses. The response of many young men who engage in violence can be viewed as an exercise in agency in the context of very limited choices. The study was a qualitative study which embraced a Participatory Action Research methodology. 10 emerging-adult male violent offenders from a lowincome community on the Cape Flats who had experienced interventions were purposively selected. The process of access and participation was challenged by the systemic realities of working in the context. Data were generated through semistructured interviews, focus groups, participant generated artefacts and reflections in a research journal. The analysis of data was thematic and an ongoing and iterative process. The young participants in the study revealed experiences of violence, loss, fluidity (instability) and economic survival that were spatially and temporally entangled. Interventions they had experienced were largely insufficiently accessible or effective in addressing this complex reality. Participants offered insights about what can assist transformative processes with young violent offenders in the community. It is the recommendation of this study that consideration be given to integrating their suggested factors into future strategies. In addition, future research with action processes should include the beneficiaries of interventions as collaborators to better grasp what is needed to navigate the complex spaces, to widen their life options with skills to navigate diverse social spaces and to sensitively and effectively include grief and loss processes. Finally, institutions such as schools and police services should be better equipped to respond to the needs and actions of troubled youth.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie studie poog om die ervarings en die sinmaakproses van gewelddadige oortreders opkomende volwassenes te ondersoek en die waarde van intervensies in die sosiale ruimtes van hul lewens te ondersoek. Die grondslag van hierdie studie was 'n breë siening van geweld en dat gemeenskappe wat aan historiese en aanhoudende geweld ly, as stedelike oorlogsones beskou word. Gevolglik word jong mans wat in sulke sosiaal-historiese kontekste grootword, dikwels gekonfronteer met verskillende ruimtes wat deur verskillende vorme van geweld beland. Die gevolge van hierdie blootstelling aan geweld is uiteenlopend, insluitend die gereedheid vir aggressiewe en gewelddadige reaksies. Die reaksie van baie jong mans wat met geweld betrokke is, kan gesien word as 'n agentskaplike oefening in die konteks van baie beperkte keuses. Die studie was 'n kwalitatiewe studie wat 'n deelnemende aksienavorsingsmetodologie bevat. Doelgerig word tien opkomende volwassenes, gewelddadige oortreders uit 'n lae-inkomstegemeenskap op die Kaapse Vlakte wat ingrypings ondervind het, doelbewus gekies. Die sistemiese werklikheid van die werk in die konteks word deur die proses van toegang en deelname uitgedaag. Data is gegenereer deur semigestruktureerde onderhoude, fokusgroepe, deelnemers-gegenereerde artefakte en refleksies in 'n vaktydskrif. Die ontleding van data was tematies en 'n voortdurende en iteratiewe proses. Die jong deelnemers aan die studie het ervarings van geweld, verlies, vloeiendheid (onstabiliteit) en ekonomiese oorlewing geopenbaar wat ruimtelik en tydelik verstrengel was. Ingrypings wat hulle ondervind het, was grootliks onvoldoende toeganklik of effektief om hierdie komplekse werklikheid aan te spreek. Deelnemers het insigte aangebied oor wat transformerende prosesse by jong gewelddadige oortreders in die gemeenskap kan help. Dit is die aanbeveling van hierdie studie dat daar gekyk word na die integrasie van hul voorgestelde faktore in toekomstige strategieë. Boonop moet toekomstige navorsing met aksieprosesse die begunstigdes van intervensies as medewerkers insluit om beter te begryp wat nodig is om die komplekse ruimtes te navigeer, om hul lewensopsies te verbreed met vaardighede om verskillende sosiale ruimtes te navigeer en om sensitiewe en effektiewe smart- en verliesprosesse in te sluit. Laastens moet instellings soos skole en polisiedienste beter toegerus wees om op die behoeftes en optrede van ontstelde jeug te reageer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108138
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